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Summary and Critical Analysis: Strategic Leadership of Corporate Sustainability

6 pages
1549 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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Robert Strand is an Executive director at the center for responsible business. He is also a faculty of the business at the University of California Berkley. He has also held a position of assistant professor at Copenhagen business school. The author has published the article, Strategic leadership of corporate sustainability in2014 which argues that companies can be able to embrace sustainability leadership if they change their perception and strategy towards social responsibility.We find that the reason why corporate sustainability TMT positions are installed can be in response to a crisis at the corporation for which its legitimacy is challenged, afforded by a strategic level position. We also find the corporate sustainability TMT position can be installed proactively in an effort to realize external opportunities that may otherwise gone unrealized without concrete attention and coordination (Strand, 2014). Although the article was written in 2014, I believe that it is relevant in 2017 due to the rise of corporate sustainability in the years that followed its publication. Within the last five years during its publications, there has been a rise in the interest among governments and consumers who want to see companies that use resources efficiently.

The reason Strand chooses these areas is because of the emerging trend that requires a company to embrace sustainability as part of their core business.Consistent with the initial study, we use corporate web sites as the primary TMT data source). It also aims at demonstrating how companies have been able to embrace sustainability policies over the years. Additionally, Robert Strand is well versed in his field and I believe the article will provide critical information about Strategic Leadership of Corporate Sustainability. Supplemented with TMT information available through Thompson Reuters (Strand, 2014T). The author was objective in his approach to the study of leadership and sustainability by using relevant data that would give accurate information. For person perspective, it is easy to read the text where most terms are defined in the introduction before interacting with new terms in the essay (Seuring and Muller 2008). The definition of the important terms to use in the essay forms a good foundation for reading and understanding the.


Sustainability position, theoretical, and convenience sampling methods

Robert Strands adopted a number of methods in collecting his data.First, he collected data from his 2013 original research. However this data had some weakness since it was limited as the first study was not comprehensive due to the limited number of people interviewed. However, the method achieved some success as the interviews had wide scope of knowledge about corporate sustainability.

The second step involved collecting data of all the top management team in sustainability position. Strand achieved this by looking into press lease and company websites. The collection of this data was able to increase the number of people interviewed as compared to the original research conducted in 2013. By expanding the number of interviewees, Strand was able to get a larger response from the professions. By comparing the response from this interviews, Strand was able to get a clear perspective about the topic under research.

Finally, Strand carried out an in-depth investigation into the top management team and their effects by interviewing the former and current occupants of corporate sustainability TMT positions (Strand, 2014). The data was collected by using both theoretical and convenience sampling to get a figure that is accurate. Having both current and former employees as part of the sample group has been essential in getting a diverse response. By comparing all the response from the sample group, Strand was able to come into a conclusion about the perception of corporate sustainability among the top players.

The author used this data to because of the expertise that the interviewees have on the subject. By the time these researchers were being conducted, 27 out of 46 positions in TMT were remaining. The study showed that 41 percent of the jobs had ceased to exist in two years. Out of the 27 positions that were left, 13 had been changed to EVP in several companies.(Strand, 2014). Some companies such as Duke Energy, Ford motors SKF and Newmont Mining were able to retain TMT positions by the time this research was being conducted. According to those people that had previously worked in sustainability positions, they all agreed that it was necessary to ensure companies operate responsibly and think about the community. However, they all agreed that the positions of sustainable officers might be declining as business incorporate sustainability in their core business. The corporations, therefore, remove the sustainability post but instead incorporate them in other sectors of the company.

Critical analysis

By analyzing the response from the top managers in different companies, the author has been able to show us the importance of social responsibility. The evidence has been supportive of the argument since most of the respondent agrees on the importance of sustainably (Semaphorin 2012). Although some people differ on how it should be implemented, everyone agrees it is critical for the corporation to ensure their adherence to their corporate responsibility. Those who had a different opinion argued that companies do not need to have separate departments that deal with sustainability. According to them, companies should integrate sustainability as part of their overall operations. Since all the interviewees had worked or are currently working in different levels of TMT, I believe the evidence is reliable and able to give accurate results. Additionally, Using qualitative research, the author has provided us with the attitude of corporation towards sustainability

The focus of the article is on the organization of companies. The author provides a clear definition of corporate sustainability and the role that top management team plays in the company operations (Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn 2014). Robert strands appear to be knowledgeable in the research topic considering the organization of ideas to support the thesis. In the texts, the author explains how the reforms in the management demand the restricting of top-level management to incorporate corporate social responsibilities (Dyllick and Hockert 2002). What Robert claimed about the role of the top management team in influencing the outcomes in the organization is true. Often, the critical decisions that regulate the actions of the activities and organization originate from the top-level management (Kim, and Yeo 2015). Robert holds that most analysts focus their attention on the top management because their impacts on the activities of the organization are imperative (Strand, 2014). The text remains within the jurisdiction of the research topic throughout the article. The author began the research by giving a comprehensive definition of important terms in the research (Semaphorin 2012). essay.


The author through the use of professionals who had worked as sustainable officers has been able to convince the readers about the importance of companies to be responsible. Personally, the article has changed my thinking about the role of management and how they can impact change in the community. The study also meant to identify whether the departure of individuals who hold positions in top management team as corporate sustainability was as a result of a failure by the corporations. Additionally, Robert aimed at identifying the reasons why companies were installing corporate sustainability position in their top management. Finally, the study tried to determine whether having corporate sustainability potions among the top management had any effects in a company.

There is a need to have a sustainable policy adopted by all the companies. Most companies have recognized the importance of the importance of making a profit while ensuring the resources are not exploited. Although corporations are downsizing on the number of people working in sustainable positions (Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn 2014). They are counter checking this by ensuring the duties are transferred to other departments within the organization. Additionally, the research has shown that companies that have sustainable positions under their TMT are more likely to be selected for the dow jones sustainability Index than firms without the same jobs (Kim, Hur and Yeo 2015). A few modifications can be made to improve the study. For starters, the researcher should have made more effort to contact both the current and former employees who worked in sustainable positions. Also, the study could benefit if the researcher could have spent more time to allow himself get in touch with more interviewees.Based on the evidence obtained, Robert concluded that the removal of corporate sustainability of the top management team was not a failure but can serve as a way of incorporating a bureaucratic structure to help companies achieve their sustainability agenda.



BENN, S. (2017). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. [s.l.]: routledge.

Dunphy, D., Griffiths, A. and Benn, S. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. London: Routledge.

Dyllick, T. and Hockerts, K. (2002). Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Business Strategy and the Environment, 11(2), pp.130-141.

Kim, H., Hur, W. and Yeo, J. (2015). Corporate Brand Trust as a Mediator in the Relationship between Consumer Perception of CSR, Corporate Hypocrisy, and Corporate Reputation. Sustainability, 7(4), pp.3683-3694.

Kim, H., Hur, W. and Yeo, J. (2015). Corporate Brand Trust as a Mediator in the Relationship between Consumer Perception of CSR, Corporate Hypocrisy, and Corporate Reputation. Sustainability, 7(4), pp.3683-3694.

Semaphorin 3A (SEMA3A). (2012). Science-Business eXchange, 5(22).

Seuring, S. and Muller, M. (2008). From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(15), pp.1699-1710.

Strand, R. (2014). Strategic Leadership of Corporate Sustainability. Journal of Business Ethics, 123(4), pp.687-706.


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