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Green Transformative Leadership

At a glance


Addressing environmental grand challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss requires businesses to take transformative action that goes beyond business-as-usual and have the requisite organizational leaders who can spearhead the transition towards a more environmentally sustainable world. However, businesses and their leaders cannot achieve the transition towards sustainability in isolation. For example, circular economy (“CE”) approaches necessitate that firms work closely with a wide range of external stakeholders such as suppliers, buyers, governments, cities, and even competitors. While technical solutions to CE have been widely discussed in academia and practice, the role of organizational leaders in engaging stakeholders to create joint value for stakeholders that include nature remains largely overlooked.

This project aims to improve our understanding of why, when, and how organizational leaders engage stakeholders to tackle environmental grand challenges in the context of CE. We focus on green transformational leaders (“GTLs”) and seek to understand how such GTLs motivate and enact change among networks of external stakeholders for environmental sustainability.

The project is built around three modules. We will start with a comprehensive literature review of the characteristics of GTLs. Building on these insights, we will test specific and relevant characteristics of GTLs and the mechanisms through which they engage stakeholders using quantitative, experimental designs. Finally, we will collect in-depth, qualitative data to develop an understanding of the processes that underly the relational dynamics between GTLs and stakeholders and lead to joint value creation for environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Our results will contribute to understanding and developing the necessary leadership capacity of businesses to drive the urgently needed sustainability transformation of business-as-usual toward a circular economy.