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Organizational culture and leadership: Preconditions for the development of a sustainable corporation


  • Rupert J. Baumgartner

    (Department of Economics and Business Management, University of Leoben, Leoben, Austria)


The relationship between corporate sustainability and organizational culture seems to be underestimated within the discussion of sustainable development. The research presented in this paper is based on a case study conducted in the mining industry. The hypothesis is that ambitious corporate sustainability activities and strategies have to be embedded in the organizational culture in order to be successful. If aspects of sustainable development are not part of the mindset of leaders and members of the organization, corporate sustainability activities will not affect the core business efficiently and are more likely to fail. The model of Schein for organizational culture is used to characterize corporate sustainability strategies: introverted, extroverted, conservative and visionary strategies are distinguished. Each strategy is assessed regarding the relation and the integration in the levels of organizational culture according to the model of Schein. The model consists of three levels, i.e. artifacts, values and basic assumptions. This framework is used for a case-study to identify the organizational culture of a global leading mining company. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupert J. Baumgartner, 2009. "Organizational culture and leadership: Preconditions for the development of a sustainable corporation," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 102-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:102-113
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.405

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    Cited by:

    1. Siarheu Manzhynski, 2014. "Corporate Social Responsibility for Innovation and Economic Performance Improvement: Evidence from Belarus as an Emerging Economy," Working Papers 2014/32, Maastricht School of Management.
    2. repec:kap:jbuset:v:144:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2763-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rupert J. Baumgartner & Daniela Ebner, 2010. "Corporate sustainability strategies: sustainability profiles and maturity levels," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 76-89.
    4. Wing Chow & Yang Chen, 2012. "Corporate Sustainable Development: Testing a New Scale Based on the Mainland Chinese Context," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(4), pages 519-533, February.
    5. Hsueh, Che-Fu, 2014. "Improving corporate social responsibility in a supply chain through a new revenue sharing contract," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 214-222.
    6. Saveanu Tomina Gabriela & Abrudan Maria-Madela, 2014. "Social Responsibility Of Organization. An Extended Literature Review," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1241-1246, July.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1367-:d:106811 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cynthia Akwei, 2015. "Evaluation of Implementation of the Sustainability Agenda for Sustainable Development in a Developing Country," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 2503731, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    9. Alfonso Siano & Francesca Conte & Sara Amabile & Agostino Vollero & Paolo Piciocchi, 2016. "Communicating Sustainability: An Operational Model for Evaluating Corporate Websites," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-16, September.

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