Can Business‐oriented Managers Be Effective Leaders for Corporate Sustainability? A Study of Integrative and Instrumental Logics

Jay Joseph, Marc Orlitzky, Bruce Gurd, Helen Borland, Adam Lindgreen

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This qualitative study investigates whether the views of managers need to be congruent with the corporate sustainability (CS) logics—either integrative or instrumental—of their employing organization. We assessed the CS performance of 25 organizations within the Australian forestry and wood products industry and analyzed the CS orientations of 32 senior managers within these companies to explore whether their individual CS views were consistent with organizational CS logics. The findings indicate that, in general, better performing organizations are led by managers that hold the integrative view, whereas poorer performing organizations are more likely to have managers with an instrumental view of CS. Nonetheless, there were noteworthy exceptions to this conclusion. The findings indicate that, under certain industry conditions, managers who hold an instrumental view may be able to generate ecological and social organizational outcomes that are at least equal to those produced by integrative managers.
TidsskriftBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)339-352
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 25. September 2018


  • Corporate sustainability
  • Environmental management
  • Instrumental view
  • Integrative view
  • Leadership
  • Sustainable development