Sustainable Leadership : Honeybee and Locust Approaches book cover
1st Edition

Sustainable Leadership
Honeybee and Locust Approaches

ISBN 9780415891394
Published March 7, 2011 by Routledge
288 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The business case for operating along sustainable principles is becoming very clear. Sustainable organizations outperform their peers on many criteria, including corporate social responsibility, employee satisfaction and – surprising for some – even financially.


Sustainable Leadership: Honeybee and Locust Approaches presents an evidence-based view of how 23 leadership practices facilitate outcomes that go beyond what is commonly referred to as the triple bottom line – environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and financial success. The book centers on a powerful metaphor of honeybee and locust behaviors, which illustrate two leadership philosophies with very different outcomes for a business and its viability. Gathering evidence from scholars combined with observations from successful firms around the world, the book presents a bundle of principles, behaviors and beliefs that forms a sustainable leadership system.


This engaging, insightful book offers a set of principles that can be adapted in many ways to underpin sustainable leadership in different situations. It provides evidence and a rationale for building a business case to change towards more sustainable practices.

Table of Contents

1. Sustainable Enterprises  2. Elements of Sustainable Leadership  3. Foundation Practices  4. Higher-level Practices and Key Performance Drivers  5. Performance Outcomes as Leadership Practices Interact  6. Epilogue: After the Global Financial Crisis

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Gayle C. Avery is Professor of Management at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia, and co-founder of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership ( She has authored a number of books on leadership and sustainability.

Harald Bergsteiner was Adjunct Professor at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia, and is a co-founder of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership.


"Avery and Bergsteiner have done a masterful job at fleshing out the honeybee metaphor that drives sustainable organizations. They have identified 23 leadership practices that enable organizations to survive and thrive in both good and bad economies. They offer specific examples and leadership tools to bring these practices to life. They show that companies who adopt and adapt these ideas have higher employee, customer, investor, and community returns. This is a book worth reading, and using!" - Professor Dave Ulrich, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and Partner, The RBL Group.


"An important work that clearly identifies the insanity of our current business model of repeating the same unsustainable behaviours and expecting different results, while at the same time offering a hopeful, sensible, and sustainable cure for that insanity." - Dr A. James LoPresti, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.