Ecological Worldviews: A Missing Perspective to Advance Global Sustainability Leadership
January 1, 2015
Africa, Asia - Pacific, Europe, Latin & South America, North America
Ethics & Social Justice
sustainability, corporate social resonsibility, ecological worldviews, ecopsychology, ecological self, integral ecology, environmental leadership, developmental psychology, deep ecology
Since the corporate sustainability movement emerged more than 20 years ago, much has been written about how multinational corporations must play an important role in solving the planet’s ecological challenges. However, while corporate sustainability research has focused extensively on environmental impacts, strategies, and best practices at the organizational level, not enough attention has been paid to sustainability leadership at the individual level. As a result, little is known about the psychological motivations of corporate sustainability executives and how this may relate to their behavior as change agents. Based on insights from social science disciplines, including ecopsychology, integral ecology, and developmental psychology, this article presents findings from a large sample study of the ecological worldviews of global sustainability leaders. Specific findings include five experiences that shape ecological worldviews over the lives of the participants and five ways that ecocentric worldviews are expressed. Based on the findings, the author proposes that participants in the study have developed advanced ecological worldviews that underlie their motivation and capacity for effective sustainability leadership, and makes specific recommendations for education and practice.