The HSSPR Seminar Series: Driving Sustainable Development Transformations with Emotional Leadership

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Abstract: The climate emergency and growing social issues demonstrate the critical need for sustainable development. For many organisations, this requires a radical shift in what they do and how they do it. In response to this mainstream concern, businesses are publishing strategies to transition to a state that aligns with sustainable development principles. Inherent within these is a requirement for people to adapt what they currently do so that it supports and drives an organisation-level transformation. The responsibility to deliver this strategic transformation, including the human element, falls to leaders throughout an organisation. In his presentation, Prof. Ashkanasy will focus on a key aspect of leadership: creating the emotional conditions to deliver a sustainable development transformation. He will describe the role of emotions in organisations according the Five-Levels of Managing Emotions at Work model, highlighting the leadership challenge at each level. He will conclude with specific adaptations leaders can make to be more effective by accessing and then leveraging the emotional energy in their teams. In doing so, he will outline how leaders can create the emotional conditions conducive to transition organisations to align with sustainable development principles, creating humane companies that provide the necessary social foundation without compromising fundamental ecological limits.

Speaker: Neal M. Ashkanasy OAM, PhD, Professor of Management, Business School, The University of Queensland

Dr. Neal M. Ashkanasy is a Professor of Management in the UQ Business School at The University of Queensland, Australia, where he graduated with a PhD in 1989. He studies emotion in organizations, leadership, culture, ethical and sustainable behaviour, and the physical environment of work. He is the founder of the Emonet Listserv and the APSEW Conference Series. He is also co-editor of the book series, Research on Emotion in Organizations. He has published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal and Review, the Journal of Management, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Associate Editor for the Academy of Management Review and Academy of Management Learning & Education.

Associated Readings: 

  • Norton, T. A., Ayoko, O. B., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2021). A Socio-Technical Perspective on the Application of Green Ergonomics to Open-Plan Offices: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Future Research. Sustainability, 13(15), 8236.
  • Ayoko, O. B., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2020). The physical environment of office work: Future open plan offices. Australian Journal of Management, 45(3), 488-506.
  • Ayoko, O. B., Ashkanasy, N. M., Li, Y., Dorris, A., & Jehn, K. A. (2023). An experience sampling study of employees’ reactions to noise in the open-plan office. Journal of Business Research, 155, 113445.

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