Culture Influencer: Dr. Timothy Ewest

Dr. Timothy Ewest






Dr. Timothy Ewest, Associate Professor of Management in the Archie Dunham College of Business, was invited to contribute to a book sponsored by the United Nations, organized by the Principles of Responsible Management think tank. This edited volume, titled, “Sustainability Mindset and Transformative Leadership: A Multidisciplinary Perspective,” was edited by Aixa A. Ritz, Isabel Rimanoczy and published by Palgrave McMillian.

The volume examines the importance of leadership in developing an effective sustainability strategy. It defines the sustainability mindset and surveys the primary motivations, conditions, or environment(s) that cause leaders to embrace sustainable practices. As described in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8, embracing the sustainability mindset will lead to greater productivity and promote economic growth.

Organized into themes of organizational operations, leadership competencies and leadership practices, the chapters, written by contributors representing global perspectives, tackle topics such as strategy, culture, and leadership styles in developing a new form of mindfulness for leaders as well as organizations. Recognizing the need for accelerated change in organizations as well as society at large, this book presents scholars with a framework for establishing a mindset for sustainability to foster much-needed transformative leadership.

Dr. Ewest’s chapter, “The Prosocial Leadership Development Process and its Applications to Business and Education,” explores motivations organizations have for sustainability, seeks to delineate the recent emergence of positive leadership theories and their contribution to prosocial centered leadership. Specifically, the chapter discusses Dr. Ewest’s Prosocial Leadership Development process, which can be appended to numerous existing positive leadership theories, as a means to describe and guide a leader’s prosocial leadership development. The four-stage model is intuitive, yet based on extensive research. These four stages of the Prosocial Leadership Development Process include: antecedent awareness and empathic concern, community and group commitment, courage and action and reflection and growth.

Finally, the chapter resolves by discussing two applications of the Prosocial Leadership Development process. The first application considers Prosocial Leadership Development within leaders of small to medium enterprises (SME), endeavoring to determine to what degree the prosocial leadership development model is representative of the identified four-stage model. The research on SME leaders of social enterprises determined a fifth stage. Secondarily, the prosocial leadership development process is compared to theoretical pedagogical strategies for cultivating social justice awareness and actions within the lives of students.

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