Chapter 3: Sustainability agency at the top of the organization: microfoundations research on corporate sustainability
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Strategic leaders, such as top managers and board directors, play a central role in shaping a company’s sustainability strategy and performance. Academic work on strategic leaders’ influence on corporate sustainability (CS) has paid increased attention to the link between the micro-level drivers concerning leaders’ characteristics and macro-level firm outcomes. Our chapter reviews the CS literature with a focus on how different types of managerial motivations and socio-cognitive factors affect leaders’ decisions, behaviors, and CS performance. Further, we discuss moderators and mediators that have been identified in microfoundational CS research. We highlight limitations and conclude with actionable paths forward for microfoundational CS research to resolve existing theoretical gaps and provide useful knowledge and implications to managerial practices for achieving superior CS outcomes.

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