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Embedding Sustainability Within Organisations (Advert Reference: BL/DRFNBSR7/55051)

   Department of Corporate and Executive Development

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  Dr J Davidson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Responsibility (including business ethics, CSR, stakeholder management and ecological sustainability) has been described as the fundamental management issue of the 21st century (Windsor 2012). According to a recent McKinsey survey (The Business of Sustainability: McKinsey Global Survey results 2011) there has been a significant increase in businesses integrating sustainability principles into their organisation across a range of operations, a key driver for which was retaining and motivating employees. This is evidenced through corporate strategies such as M&S’s Plan A and Kingfisher Group’s ‘Net Positive’.

For sustainability principles to be embedded into corporate practice they must in turn be embedded into an organisation’s leadership and management development processes and practices. As the integration of sustainability within organisations increases as does the need for knowledge, understanding and skills around sustainability to be included in operations, and individual roles. The balance of embedding sustainability whilst maintaining focus on material issues for the organisation (those issues which are most significant to the organisation and over which they have a degree of influence, GRI 2006) is also a challenge.

This research will work with an award winning private sector organisation. A fundamental part of the company’s sustainability strategy is to work with stakeholders to contribute to the success of local communities and work towards common goals. The company has contact with more than 800 stakeholders from non governmental organisations – across the business, community and environmental sectors. This research will make a significant contribution to both theory and practise in the field. Specifically the research will, critically assess academic theory in this area, research best practice with a view to developing new models of identifying, implementing and measuring the impact of social and environmental partnerships.

The types of research areas which might be addressed include:
- Embedding sustainability in leadership and management development
- Understanding materiality and how this translates beyond strategy
- Understanding how stakeholders view materiality
- Understanding how dialogue with stakeholders can embed sustainability
- Understanding how stakeholders view materiality

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree (in a relevant subject) from a British higher education institution, or equivalent. Students who are not UK/EU residents are eligible to apply, provided they hold the relevant academic qualifications, together with an IELTS score of at least 7.0.

Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to:
Dr Jenny Davidson
Email: [Email Address Removed]

To apply, contact Debbie Stokoe to request the appropriate application form, quoting the advert reference above, via email to
[Email Address Removed] or by using the application link on this page.

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (in 2014/15 this is £13,863 pa) and Home/EU fees.
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