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ERIC Number: ED514252
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 358
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7453-8
Business Leaders Committing to and Fostering Sustainability Initiatives
Rimanoczy, Isabel Beatriz
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this study was to explore the processes and steps that business leaders go through as they champion sustainability initiatives, seeking to understand the learning strategies, knowledge and supports they found, as well as the mindset that helped them. This research contributes to an emerging body of knowledge that addresses the need for a new approach to management education that can develop business leaders able to think of business in a different way--shaping corporations that benefit communities, respect and restore the environment, and serve all the stakeholders. The study was a qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive multiple-case study of sixteen business leaders who had championed sustainability-related initiatives. Data collection methods included pilot interviews, screening meetings, personal data forms, in-depth interviews, critical incident questioning, participants' input and approval of verbatim interview transcripts, personal debrief sheets, and researcher's journaling. In the cases studied, the individuals' disposition towards sustainability-related initiatives was a result of the interplay between several factors: a spiritual journey connected with the desire for making a difference; learning about social and environmental problems, with an emotional reaction of sadness or anger; a sense of personal responsibility; and the perceived need to act. In terms of learning strategies, the participants learned through external input from an unexpected source (teachers, serendipitous encounters, comments from colleagues, complaints from customers), then embarked on self-directed learning to explore the topics further. Trial and error and social learning were important learning approaches, since there were no precedents to learn from and the journey felt lonely. The cases indicated that systems thinking and innovative thinking were key characteristics of their mindset, in addition to a "being orientation" which referred to a degree of self-awareness achieved by the consideration of spiritual questions like: Who am I? What is my purpose? What difference am I making? Data collected contributed to recommendations for adult educators in terms of content to be taught, habits to be developed, messages to transmit, and learning methods to explore. The research also provided recommendations for coaches, HR/OD and learning professionals, and business leaders. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A