Sustainability Leadership

The world faces many challenges today—growing inequality, workforce exploitation, environmental destruction, resource depletion, and climate change, among others. The objective of the doctoral concentration in Sustainability Leadership is to produce leaders in businesses, nonprofits, governments, and educational institutions.

The doctoral concentration in Sustainability Leadership includes the study of:

  • The history and practice of sustainability efforts (such as corporate social responsibility): What has failed and why, along with what has worked (best practices in businesses, colleges and universities, NGOs)
  • Organization development for sustainability
  • Monitoring and capability programs, evaluating how they work and the impact of sustainability interventions
  • Strategy development for sustainability: how to create a long-range plan, human resource management systems for sustainability, and sustainability reporting
  • How to forge innovative partnerships/stakeholder engagement
  • Using media: worker engagement via mobile technology, documentary evidence, the use of social media to promote sustainable practices, and
  • The challenges of legal enforcement in global supply chains.

Why Sustainability Leadership?

Sustainability is clearly seen as a necessary strategic aspect of corporate futures. One recent (2011) study surveyed 247 corporate executives in North America, the UK, and China regarding their attitudes and experiences with sustainability. Two-thirds reported that sustainability was a “very important” strategic aspect of their corporate futures.

There are hundreds of universities that offer degrees on the environmental side of sustainability, but few, if any, that include the social side. Programs that incorporate corporate social responsibility concerns – typically MBA degree programs – tend to be technocratic in nature, engineering solutions, rather than addressing systemic challenges from a social science perspective. This concentration goes beyond providing the surface understandings and technical skills that constitute the core of most business school and environmentally-focused university offerings in this area.  Fielding critically engages the scholarly literature on sustainability and provides training in the practical skills required for students to become effective practitioners.

This doctoral concentration is available for any PhD or EdD students enrolled in the School of Leadership Studies or students in the PhD in Media Psychology.

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