AOM Press Releases

AOM Scholars On… Leading the Sustainable Way Forward

19 Sep 2022
Leading the Sustainable Way Forward: AOM Hosts Sixth Virtual Subject Matter Expert Panel and discuss how organizations can lead sustainable growth

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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 panel shared their expertise and research-based insights during a discussion on how firms can lead the sustainable way forward and be part of the solution to climate change. During their discussion, AOM Scholars provided actionable advice and insights on ways in which firms can foster effective, profit-driven organizations, while simultaneously practicing corporate accountability and leading sustainable growth. This included a discussion on the standardization of sustainability measures, change management, societal impact, and the future of sustainability.

Research-based insights

  • 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.

Panel Soundbites

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

Panel Moderator

Tima Bansal, Western University, Canada

Tima Bansal is the Executive Director (and Founder) of the Network for Business Sustainability (, 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:


Christian Busch, New York University

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: 

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:

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: 


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: