The type of leadership needed for organizations focused on environmental sustainability: A qualitative case study

by McQuade, Katherine Ray, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 206 pages; 3591387


Certain companies are quite successful at focusing on environmental sustainability, and this study sought to discover whether or not the style of leadership contributed in any way to this success. Using a qualitative approach, one organization was studied in depth using a case study analysis to identify if one of three leadership styles were present. The three styles of leadership explored were servant, visionary, and transformational. The results of the study showed a predominant display of both servant and visionary leadership and to a lesser extent a presence of transformational leadership. Several other themes also emerged, including a very strong emphasis on values that focused on environmental sustainability. The conclusion is that having a strong leadership team comprised of both servant and visionary leaders, as well as heavy emphasis on people who value the environment led to success at this one particular organization. Further research is suggested on this topic, including selection of a different organization and a larger participant pool. Other future studies should focus on the enduring nature of a vision statement, and the distinction between vision, mission, and values. One further suggestion is to explore other leadership styles as well, to strengthen the connection between organizations successful at environmental sustainability and those who lead such efforts.

AdviserCyd Strickland
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Sustainability
Publication Number3591387

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