AOM Scholars On… Leading the Sustainable Way Forward
On 29 September 2022, leading researcher on business strategy and sustainability, Tima Bansal of Western University moderated a discussion among panelists Christian Busch of New York University, Joerg Hofstetter of the Kedge Business School, Sukhbir Sandhu of the University of South Australia, and Sanjay Sharma of the University of Vermont on “Leading the Sustainable Way Forward” as part of AOM’s scholar-led webinar series, “AOM Scholars On...”.
- The consensus across the panel was that a standardization of sustainability measures is urgently needed to address the meaningful impact of ESG within individual organizations. This also applies closely to suppliers being increasingly impacted by the lack of consistent sustainability measures. Expert Jeorg Hofstetter cautions that open lines of communication directly with suppliers is critical.
- Leading change from within starts by cultivating curiosity and enabling cross functional sharing on experiments that aren’t always “successful,” per se, for broader organizational impact.
- Individual organizations may not always be able to move sustainability forward on their own, but clusters of organizations can. Even competitors can be in dialogue with each other and influence key sustainability goals in this way.
Sanjay Sharma: “Once change starts, it happens very quickly...It’s about momentum...people begin to see the link between change and positive outcomes. They begin to get...more of an opportunity mindset and a future oriented mindset.”
Jeorg Hostetter: “We’re going back to what we really want. We’re thinking much less about products, much more about the benefits we take out of them, how we can use them, how we apply them, whether we need to own them or not.”
Christian Busch: “The most successful [CEOs] seem to have in common that they’re extremely good at cultivating serendipity. This unexpected good luck, because they see something in unexpected moments...making it an active part of their leadership.”
Sukhbir Sandhu: “How can some organizations push others towards sustainability? Because individual organizations can’t do it. It’s a group of organizations that need to come together.”
This panel is AOM’s sixth Subject Matter Expert Panel in the “AOM Scholars On…” series that provides actionable, research-based insights to the most pressing issues facing organizations and workers globally. For more information about the Academy of Management's Subject Matter Experts, visit AOM.org/SME.
Tima Bansal, Western University, Canada
Tima Bansal is the Executive Director (and Founder) of the Network for Business Sustainability (www.nbs.net), a growing network of more than 35,000 followers from management research and practice committed to advancing sustainable business.
Tima’s research targets the interplay between business strategy and sustainability.
She has received significant accolades for her scholarship including holding a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability and being the first Canadian named a Faculty Pioneer for Academic Leadership by the Aspen Institute, a global forum for business and society headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Tima’s notable AOM research includes:
- Sustainable Development in an Age of Disruption, Academy of Management Discoveries
- Monsanto Company – Doing Business in India, Academy of Management Learning & Education
- Cocreating Rigorous and Relevant Knowledge, Academy of Management Journal
Christian Busch, FRSA, is an internationally known expert in the areas of innovation, purpose-driven leadership and serendipity. He is the director of the SPS CGA Global Economy Program at New York University. He also teaches at the London School of Economics.
His bestselling book, The Serendipity Mindset: The Art & Science of Creating Good Luck, has been highlighted as a "wise, exciting and life-changing book" by Arianna Huffington. Paul Poman says it “offers excellent practical guidance for all.”
He is member of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Expert Forum, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, among Diplomatic Courier’s "Top 99 Influencers", and on the Thinkers50 list of the 30 thinkers “most likely to shape the future.”
Christian’s notable AOM research includes:
- Align or Perish: Dynamic Social Enterprise Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, Academy of Management Proceedings
- How and why does the network of social entrepreneurs in low-income contexts influence performance?, Academy of Management Proceedings
- Transcending homophily: Navigating institutional change in ethnically fragmented societies, Academy of Management Proceedings
Jeorg Hoffstetter, Kedge Business School
Joerg S. Hofstetter is an academic expert in circular economy, corporate sustainability, global value chains and multinational, multi-tier supply chains with over 20 years of experience.
In addition to his role as Associate Professor in Supply Chain Management at Kedge Business School, he is head of its lab “Sustainable Supply Chains,” president of the International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains (ISVC), lecturer at the University of St. Gallen and fellow of the Center for Organization Research & Design (CORD) at Arizona State University.
A German national, Joerg has extensive knowledge in circular economy, sustainability in multinational multi-tier supply chains, sustainability in procurement, global value chains, value chain mapping, sub-supplier management, supplier development, distribution management and corporate supply chain management.
Joerg’s notable AOM research includes:
- Formal Governance for Supplier Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives: A Field Experiment, Academy of Management Proceedings
- Why Emerging Market Suppliers Do Not Meet a Social Standard’s Requirements: The Role of Aspirations, Academy of Management Proceedings
- Exploring sustainability compliance of sub-suppliers, Academy of Management Proceedings
- Capabilities for Corporate Sustainability Standards Institutionalization along the Supply Chain, Academy of Management, Proceedings
- Institutional Work in the Design of Voluntary Sustainability Initiatives: Role of Key Resources, Academy of Management Proceedings
Sukhbir Sandhu, University of South Australia
Sukhbir Sandhu is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Workplace Excellence (CWeX) at the Business School of the University of South Australia.
Sukhbir's research focuses on social and environmental sustainability issues that confront organizations and societies. Her current research investigates the external drivers that push organizations to act on sustainability issues and the internal strategy and structure changes required to successfully accommodate these social and environmental initiatives.
Sukhbir’s research on organizational sustainability has been recognized with a prestigious Research Impact on Practice Award from the Network for Business Sustainability. Her research has also been listed in The Financial Times’ "all-time top 100 social science research" that can lead to meaningful social impact and help improve society.
Sukhbir’s notable AOM research includes:
- Facilitators, Champions and Prospectors: The Role of Sustainability Managers, Academy of Management Proceedings
- Towards an Integrative Conceptual Framework for Corporate Social and Environmental Sustainability, Academy of Management Proceedings
- How National Background Conditions Shape the Economic Payoffs of Corporate Environmental Performance, Academy of Management Proceedings
Sanjay Sharma, University of Vermont
Sanjay Sharma is Dean and Professor of Sustainable Business at the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont. Prior to his appointment as Dean of the Grossman School of Business in 2011, he was the Dean of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal and the Canada Research Chair in Organizational Sustainability.
Sanjay is a pioneer in corporate sustainability research with nine books and several articles published in top tier business journals.
His book Competing for a Sustainable World: Building Capacity for Sustainable Innovation was a runner up for the Best Book Award from the Academy of Management in 2015 and his recent research monograph Patient Capital: the Role of Family Firms in Sustainable Business was
published by the Cambridge University Press in 2019.
Sanjay’s notable AOM research includes:
- Managerial Interpretations and Organizational Context as Predictors of Corporate Choice of Environmental Strategy, Academy of Management Journal
- A Contingent Resource-Based View of Proactive Corporate Environmental Strategy, Academy of Management Review
- From Environmental Strategy To Environmental Impact, Academy of Management Discoveries