An investigation of leaders' motivation, intellectual leadership, and sustainability strategy in relation to Norwegian manufacturers’ performance
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Cleaner Production. 2020, 254 . 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120053
The objective of this paper is to study how leaders’motivation and leadership style relate to the adoptionof sustainability efforts at the strategic level and to investigate some of the implications this has forfirms.We investigate the relationships between leaders’personal motivation towards sustainability, their in-tellectual leadership for sustainability, and organizations’sustainability strategies. Further, we studyperceived outcomes and objective measures offinancial performance influenced byfirms’incorporationof such strategies. Findings from a structural equation model of 352 Norwegian manufacturingfirmsshowed that intellectual leadership partly mediated the relationship between leaders’personal moti-vation for sustainability and theirfirms’sustainability strategies, indicating that personal motivationinfluencesfirm strategy through executives’leadership behavior. We alsofind strong and significantpaths fromfirms’sustainability strategies to perceived value creation and impact of initiatives at theorganization level. Further wefind small, but significant relationships between incorporation of sus-tainability efforts infirms’core business strategies and objective measures of theirfinancial performance.We discuss possible implications of this study for managers and scholars.