Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Conceptualising sustainable leadership




Literature encompassing Sustainable Leadership and developing leaders sustainably are still in infancy (Lambert, 2011). Nevertheless indications identify leadership as a vital cog in achieving sustainable organisations. Sustainable leadership can allow a fast, resilient response which is competitive and appealing to all stakeholders (Avery and Bergsteiner, 2011). Arguably, organisations’ need to stop considering leadership as a control function (Casserley and Critchley, 2010; Crews, 2010) and instead focus on dialogue and mutual-interdependency between leaders and their followers (Barr
and Dowding, 2012). This paper aims to explore and analyse the concept of sustainable leadership to present a conceptual framework surrounding sustainable leadership.
This conceptual paper will review the existing frameworks of sustainable leadership and present a conceptualisation of the frameworks. This conceptualisation synthesises frameworks and literature surrounding the concept of sustainable leadership which involves work from seminal authors Casserley and Critchley (2010),
Avery and Bergsteiner (2011), Hargreaves and Fink (2006), Davies (2009) and Lambert (2011). Seminal themes from the synthesised frameworks are presented to explore and unify the conceptualisation of sustainable leadership.
Within leadership literature, stakeholder approaches (Groves and LaRocca, 2011; Avery and Bergsteiner, 2011a); discourses underlining the importance of relationship between leaders and followers (Barr and Dowding, 2012); and discussions about the
need to develop reflexive and participative leadership models (Kopp and Martinuzzi, 2013) have become prominent. Sustainable leadership embraces all of these new components. The concept advocates organisations should shift emphasis from a traditional singular focus on finances, to a view that organisations are contributors to wider environmental and social influences (Crews, 2010; Avery and Bergsteiner, 2011a).
This paper explores the theoretical frameworks which surround sustainable leadership and will synthesise and present commonly referenced facets of the concept within the internal and external factors influencing sustainable leadership framework.


D’Annunzio-Green, N., Gerard, L., McMillan, J., & D'Annunzio-Green, N. (2017). Conceptualising sustainable leadership. Industrial and Commercial Training, 49(3), 116-126.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 1, 2017
Publication Date Mar 6, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 2, 2019
Journal Industrial and Commercial Training
Print ISSN 0019-7858
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 3
Pages 116-126
Keywords Sustainable leadership, sustainability,
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations