Can Business-Oriented Managers Be Effective Leaders for Corporate Sustainability? A Study of Integrative and Instrumental Logics

J. Joseph, M. Orlitzky, B. Gurd, Helen M Borland, A. Lindgreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This qualitative study investigates whether the views of managers need to be congruent with the corporate sustainability (CS) logics—either integrative or instrumental—of their employing organization. We assessed the CS performance of 25 organizations within the Australian forestry and wood products industry and analyzed the CS orientations of 32 senior managers within these companies to explore whether their individual CS views were consistent with organizational CS logics. The findings indicate that, in general, better performing organizations are led by managers that hold the integrative view, whereas poorer performing organizations are more likely to have managers with an instrumental view of CS. Nonetheless, there were noteworthy exceptions to this conclusion. The findings indicate that, under certain industry conditions, managers who hold an instrumental view may be able to generate ecological and social organizational outcomes that are at least equal to those produced by integrative managers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Joseph J, Orlitzky M, Gurd B, Borland H, Lindgreen A. Can business‐oriented managers be effective leaders for corporate sustainability? A study of integrative and instrumental logics. Bus Strat Env. 2018;1–14., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • corporate sustainability
  • environmental management
  • instrumental view
  • integrative view
  • leadership
  • sustainable development

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