Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Lynn Szostek

Abstract

The business environment is in constant flux where stakeholders encourage organizational leaders to consider sustainable business tactics alongside corporate profits. While most business leaders recognize the importance of including sustainability into corporate goals, evidence suggested that only 10% have sustainable action plans in place. Using the honeybee leadership model as the conceptual framework, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the sustainable leadership strategies that business leaders from small- and medium- sized companies integrated to increase corporate revenue. These companies were B Corp certified which ensures a third party endorsement of sustainable practices. The data were collected through face-to-face, semistructured interviews from 4 B Corp business leaders of these sustainable businesses in West Michigan, B Corp sustainability ratings, and literature review documents. These four businesses represented 44% of the B Corp organizations in Michigan. Transcript evaluation, member checking, and methodological triangulation ensured reliability and strengthened the credibility of the data collected. From the data analysis, four themes emerged: (a) enabling culture, (b) stakeholder inclusion, (c) staff engagement, and (d) social responsibility. These study findings suggest that area small- and medium-sized companies seeking to implement sustainable business adopt these tactics to increase corporate revenue. Implications for social change include the advancement of community health through improved air and water quality, as leaders understand how their contributions fit within the greater community.