Jones, David Raymond (2000) Leadership strategies for sustainable development: a case study of Suma Wholefoods. Business strategy and the environment, 9 (6). pp. 378-389. ISSN 0964-4733

This paper explores possible leadership strategies for a firm wishing to move towards sustainable development, defined in its most holistic, long term, environmental, social and financial sense. Empirical, grounded theory, case study findings from Suma Wholefoods, a socially innovative U.K. worker co-operative, are used to explore the above research aim. A case study of such a company could prove illuminating considering the importance placed by numerous authors on the links between worker participation, pluralism and sustainable development. The central objective of the paper is to consider to what extent Suma can maintain its pluralist commitment and practically move towards sustainable development, using a contextually appropriate leadership strategy. Realising that sustainable development may be more of a journey than a destination, Suma's past, present and possible future leadership strategies are explored. The case study findings argue against using solely participative or wider pluralist leadership strategies. Alternatively, the findings argue that a business should adopt a contextually appropriate set of leadership styles, based on different contingency theories. For Suma, a possible future leadership strategy would be predominantly pluralist, in order to take account of its enduring pluralist commitment.

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