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Leadership for Sustainable Futures

Achieving Success in a Competitive World

Gayle C. Avery

Many managers in the English-speaking world are seeking an alternative to the prevailing business model which promotes a short-term, shareholder-value approach. In this accessible and highly topical book, Gayle Avery argues that this Anglo/US approach to capitalism and business is seriously flawed and does not bring the quality of life to individuals and societies that many people seek. But what is the alternative and do business leaders have a different choice?
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Chapter 8: Towards a Sustainable Future

Gayle C. Avery


The 28 case studies presented in this book provide living examples of specific Rhineland practices and actions that leading management thinkers are calling for. The examples show how the elements in the Sustainable Leadership Grid operate in practice as part of a self-reinforcing system. They also reveal a rich variety of detail in the way sustainable development practices are implemented in successful organizations in different parts of the world. Considerable evidence suggests that the Rhineland approach, built around a philosophy of the enterprise as part of a wider community, is more sustainable over the long term than the narrower Anglo/US approach. Political economist Will Hutton,502 argues that the Rhineland model’s success stems mainly from its innovativeness and relatively larger growth in productivity at the end of the 20th century compared with enterprises operating under the Anglo/US approach. The strong position Rhineland employees hold in their firms comes out of a much more complex view of organizational efficiency, adaptability and productivity than under the Anglo/US model. It is built on trust, loyalty and a highly skilled workforce. Rhineland workers are supported if they become unemployed. Independently, eminent management writers, researchers and practitioners are urging leaders to adopt elements of the Rhineland model if they are not already doing so. Many experts extol the virtues of these individual leadership elements, often seemingly unaware of the Rhineland model’s existence as a theoretical construct, of its proponents and of organizations that have successfully used this approach for decades. Warren Bennis, Stephen...

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