Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective

ISBN : 9780198704072

Rebecca M. Henderson; Ranjay Gulati; Michael L. Tushman
400 Pages
165 x 242 mm
Pub date
Jan 2015
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The business case for acting sustainably is becoming increasingly compelling - reducing our global footprint to sustainable levels is the defining issue of our times and it is one that can only be addressed with the active participation of the private sector. However, persuading well established organizations to act in new ways is never easy. This book is designed to support business leaders and organizational scholars who are grappling with this challenge by pulling together leading edge insights from some of the world's best researchers as to how organizational change in general - and sustainable change in particular - can be most effectively managed. The book begins by laying out the economic case for change, while subsequent chapters describe how leaders at firms such as Du Pont, IBM and Cemex have transformed their organizations, exploring issues such as the role of the senior team and the ways in which firms shift their identities, build innovative cultures and processes, and begin to change the world around them. Business leaders will find the book a source of both powerful examples and immediately actionable ideas, while scholars will be deeply intrigued by the insights that emerge from the cross cutting exploration of one of the toughest challenges our society has ever faced.


1. Leading Sustainable Change: An Introduction
2. Making the Business Case for Sustainability
3. Stumbling Towards Sustainability
4. From Periphery to Core: A Process Model for Embracing Sustainability
5. How Purpose-Based Companies Master Change for Sustainability: A Systemic Approach to Global Social Change
6. Staying the Same while Changing: Organizational Identity in the Face of Environmental Challenges
7. Two Tales of One City: Samsung, Daewoo, and Lessons on Large-Scale Transformation
8. Chief Sustainability Officers: Who are they and what do they do?
9. Two Roads to Green: A Tale of Bureaucratic versus Distributed Leadership Models of Change
10. Leading Proactive Punctuated Change
11. The Role of Multiplier Firms and Megaprojects in Leading Change for Sustainability
12. Managing Shifting Goal Consensus and Task Ambiguity In Making the Transition to Sustainability
13. Sustainability & Organizational Change: An Institutional Perspective

About the author: 

Rebecca Henderson is John & Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also faculty co-chair of HBS's Initiative for Business and the Environment. Her research focuses on the difficulties large organizations encounter in attempting to innovate and change, particularly in response to the challenge of sustainability. She has worked with some of the largest firms in the world and with entrepreneurial start-ups in a wide variety of industries including energy, pharmaceuticals, information technology, materials and consumer goods. In May 2011, Dr. Henderson was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Innovation Advisory Board which guided a study of U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation to help inform national policies at the heart of U.S. job creation and global competitiveness, and in June 2013 she became a member of the World Economic Forum's global agenda council on the role of business.; Ranjay Gulati is the Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor and the Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He is also the Chair of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program. He is an expert on leadership, strategy, and organizational issues in firms. His recent work explores leadership and strategic challenges for building high growth organizations in turbulent markets. Some of his prior work has focused on the enablers and implications of within-firm and inter-firm collaboration. He has looked at both when and how firms should leverage greater connectivity within and across their boundaries to enhance performance. Professor Gulati is the past-President of the Business Policy and Strategy Division at the Academy of Management and an elected fellow of the Strategic Management Society. He was ranked as one of the top ten most cited scholars in Economics and Business over a decade by ISI-Incite.; Michael L. Tushman Is the faculty chair of Leading Change and Organizational Renewal (LCOR) and the Program for Leadership Development (PLD) at the Harvard Business School. Prior to PLD, Tushman was faculty chair of the Advanced Management Program (AMP). At Columbia, he won the first W. H. Newman Award for excellence and innovation in the classroom; in 2005, Tushman was named Lecturer of the Year at CHAMPS, Chalmers University of Technology; in 2008 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva where he was commended by the university as a scholar internationally recognized for his work on the relationships between technological change and organizational evolution; in 2011 he was given the Sumantra Ghoshal Award for Rigour & Relevance in the Study of Management from London Business School; in 2013 he was awarded the Academy of Management Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions to Management

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