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Leading Sustainable ChangeAn Organizational Perspective$
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Rebecca Henderson, Ranjay Gulati, and Michael Tushman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704072.001.0001

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Two Roads to Green

Two Roads to Green

A Tale of Bureaucratic versus Distributed Leadership Models of Change

Chapter:
(p.224) (p.225) 9 Two Roads to Green
Source:
Leading Sustainable Change
Author(s):

Deborah Ancona

Elaine Backman

Kate Isaacs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704072.003.0009

Consider two organizational responses to shrinking environmental resources. Under “command and control,” top management creates a sustainability initiative and sets up a team to cut down on electrical usage. Under “distributed leadership,” a set of people who are committed to environmental sustainability create their own initiative and begin to “sell” their ideas to the rest of the organization. The chapter hypothesizes that it is this latter form that may be better able to adapt to the massive changes on the horizon, and suggests that it has three major components: on-going organizational routines that free people up to create teams working on projects that are important to them and that meet strategic objectives; an organizational structure that facilitates these routines by providing resources, controls, and just-in-time support; and leadership that involves multi-directional decision making and coaching, and the ability to synthesize bottom-up, and top-down initiatives into organizational strategy

Keywords:   distributed leadership, environmental sustainability, multi-directional decision making

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