Sandra Waddock

Sandra Waddock
Boston College, USA | BC · Carroll School of Management

DBA Boston University 1985

About

263
Publications
78,667
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18,455
Citations
Citations since 2016
98 Research Items
9819 Citations
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Publications

Publications (263)
Article
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Deliberate transformation for sustainable futures requires new social imaginaries that collectively envision futures beyond the dominance of neoliberal capitalism. We looked for these imaginaries by surveying change makers working on system transformation and ecological issues. Drawing on a conceptual framework that connects social imaginaries, sto...
Article
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Transformation (T-) systems are innovative collections of initiatives and efforts geared to bringing about a flourishing socio-ecological system in a given context. They comprise of the totality of initiatives, people and organizations who are collectively seeking to transform a particular issue or geography in a common direction, when they attempt...
Article
This op ed argues that the pandemic has highlighted the emergence of a new type of entity called a transformation catalyst (TC). TCs help collections of initiatives with similar agendas see and understand their system, connect to like‐minded others to develop coherence for their efforts, and thereby amplify their impact by working in coherence and...
Chapter
This chapter explores the paradox of corporate responsibility, that is, it explores the paradoxical dark underbelly created by strategic success in corporations and their efforts to implement voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives to demonstrate their good corporate responsibility/responsibility. This exploration addresses the tensio...
Article
Art uses images, symbols, ideas, and other expressions to enable people to construct new social imaginaries that can inspire change toward a more desirable future. Artists serve as ‘seers’ of reality as it is, in ways that others do not see, and of what might be. Art can help frame and envision new cultural mythologies and social imaginaries. The ‘...
Article
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This article focuses on the concept of worldviews, arguing that a change in managerial worldviews is the key lever for addressing the social and global challenges facing humanity. We draw from a new synthesis of science and spirituality, with the addition of “other ways of knowing” that go beyond rational-empirical analysis, to suggest that what we...
Article
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The challenges that are associated with the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals are wickedly complex and interconnected in nature. Because they require transformational changes at the systems level, the pace of change has, so far, been nowhere near fast enough to meet the goals by 2030. In this paper, we analyze the catalytic actions of...
Article
In the face of numerous crises, including a global pandemic, it is time to challenge economic orthodoxy—neoliberalism—and develop a new economic orthodoxy built around values and principles that give life and prominence to socioecological systems. In this essay, I link six values of life‐affirming economics to principles that give life to systems....
Article
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There is increasing attention to the idea of bringing about what is termed a wellbeing economy, and recognition that a coherent story or narrative is important in countering the strength of today’s dominant economic narrative--neoliberalism. Yet there has been relatively little consensus on what such an idea might mean in practice, despite the prol...
Article
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This article presents a review of the literature on the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) for the purpose of situating the UNGPs in the voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) infrastructure. We identify four key themes that underlie the debate: (1) a critical assessment of the Principles, (2) their application to different sectors,...
Article
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Non-technical summary Achieving sustainability requires that businesses transform; however, it is virtually impossible in today's competitive environment for individual businesses to do what is needed to bring about systemic transformation. Instead, it is the context around businesses, including the public policy environment and changes by major ac...
Article
The dire condition of planetary systems, growing inequality, and other grand challenges seem to make system transformation, either purposeful or not, inevitable. This paper argues transformation agents using approaches that involve seeing the system and its patterns, sensemaking that constructs new narratives and stories about the system built on r...
Article
It is becoming clear that many of today’s management theories are inadequate theoretically and practically to move understanding, scholarship, and practice to where it needs to be for scholars, business leaders, and policy makers to cope with an increasing fraught world. This Special Issue’s focus is on sustainability. Sustainability challenges nee...
Chapter
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“Our Future on Earth” aims to tell the story of where we are on our collective journey by connecting the dots between what society is currently experiencing – from fires to food shortages to a rise in populism – with recent developments in the research community. Physical and social scientists have much to say about what is driving current events,...
Article
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The state of the world suggests we are at a crossroad-the next 15 to 20 years will have a decisive impact-more than in any period before-on the conditions of life on Earth. Rising awareness about the urgency of dealing with climate change is symptomatic of an increasing concern for the future of humanity and our life support system. Most approaches...
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This conceptual paper reflects on the assumptions that underlie economics and business teaching and how they influence our teaching. We identify a tension between business educators' intention to nurture responsibility and social values and the increase in students' egoism values resulting from teaching theories that build on economic thinking. We...
Article
This article argues that the capacity to create the large system change needed to deal with “grand challenges” like the Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability, or climate change can be enhanced by understanding and applying a core set of principles, drawn from multiple sources and levels of analysis that have explored the question of “what g...
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The leader as shaman has three central roles: healer, connector, and sensemaker in the service of a better world. This paper argues that today’s leaders acting as shamans could become ‘shapeshifters,’ or more accurately ‘shape the shift,’ that is engage with organizational and systemic change needed to content with major problems like sustainabilit...
Article
This symposium created a circle of trust between IABS Fellows in attendance and other attendees around the issue of co-creating a vision for IABS 2050. A circle of trust is exploratory, inclusive, respectful of difference, open to new insights and perspectives, while being bound together by a shared commitment to co-learning and co-creation via the...
Article
Blue Marble or holistic systems thinking focuses on the big picture—the system as a whole. The ‘blue marble’ is Earth viewed from space, where it can be seen as an unboundaried whole. To understand the Blue Marble, we need to zoom out—and then zoom in to specific issues and systems—and then zoom back out again. Panelists outlined key issues facing...
Article
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This article explores the role of changing memes in large systems change toward marriage equality—popularly referred to as same-sex marriage—in the United States. Using an abbreviated case history of the transformation, the article particularly explores the shifting memes or core units of culture, in this case, word phrases associated with marriage...
Article
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Purpose This paper aims to propose and test a modified interpretation of long-standing issues on the corporate responsibility (CR)–corporate financial performance (CFP) relationship: companies involved in CR are in general no better and no worse in their level of financial performance than companies without such engagement because of the trade-off...
Article
While mankind in the 21st century faces several sustainability challenges, many business practices remain on a nonsustainable pathway. At the same time, many scholars as well as managers consider maximizing shareholder wealth as the only business imperative. We argue that this situation calls for revisioning—that is, reorienting and redefining—what...
Article
We argue that rankings force business schools to increasingly follow similar curricula and strategic approaches, creating a “iron cage” that influences the nature, quality, and pedagogies of what is taught, particularly for striving business schools that wish to join the ranks of highly rated ones. Following rankings pressures measures is particula...
Article
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Efforts to reorient narratives about today’s socio-economic systems along humanistic or eco-friendly lines are built on core units of culture called memes. This paper explores the memes used by progressive socio-economic initiatives to assess whether they are consistently and powerfully deployed, using the aspirational statements of 126 different i...
Article
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We advance a framework of three types of “retreats” – reflective, relational, and inspirational – that social change agents can use to sustain themselves through challenges inherent in their work. Retreats are defined as intentionally crafted spaces that provide opportunities for reflective practices, relational presence, and inspirational resource...
Article
A recent strand of the literature bridging across sustainability, complexity, environmental and governance science (developed under the umbrella of Transition Management, TM) has advanced a theory on how transitions towards sustainability gain scale from niche to mainstream. Though widely applied both in global food and agricultural systems and oth...
Conference Paper
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Law undergirds the capitalist system and is “at the interface” of business and social relationships but remains largely walled off from many traditional approaches to management education, scholarship, and practice. Although a simple definition of law is “enforceable rules between individuals and individuals and society,” law is also a medium by wh...
Article
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This issue of Business & Society contains the transcripts of 12 oral history interviews with founders of and early contributors to the business and society/social issues in management (SIM) field. The publication of these interviews is the culmination of a very long-term project, with the first interview having been conducted in 1993 with Lee Prest...
Article
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Business schools today are torn between two paradigms, with a resulting struggle about the nature and value of both teaching and research. Today’s dominant neoliberal paradigm pervades the vast majority of schools with its narrative of profit maximization, free markets, and limited government. Its proponents view competition, growth, and consumeris...
Book
Our world is fraught with problems that demand attention: climate change, terrorism, poverty, and injustice to name only a few. Healing the World takes the fundamental teachings of shamans “the healer of communities” and applies them to the problems of today, using terms and concepts that anybody, from business leaders to activists, can relate to a...
Article
In a world greatly in need of healing, today’s leaders acting as shamans could potentially bring the shaman’s ancient wisdom to the effort to create a more sustainable, just, and equitable world. Today’s shamanic leaders undertake the same roles as the traditional shaman: healing, connecting, and sensemaking in the service of a better world. From a...
Article
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In this paper, I will argue, supported by interviews with a number of leading academics, that perhaps the MBA program, which is unlikely to change to meet numerous critiques, should be left as is with acknowledgement that its purpose is education that provides analytical, functional, and technical skills, and, basically, the first couple of positio...
Article
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This paper argues that memes form the basis of our cultural narratives, and that today’s dominant memes need to dramatically shift to contend with the realities of growing inequality and climate change, which could pose existential threats to humanity. The paper offers a potential set of memes that could be used to develop a business and economic n...
Article
This article examines the role wisdom and dignity play in developing ethical business leaders, or what we call shamanic leaders, for the twenty-first century. We define wisdom as the integration of moral imagination (the good), systems understanding (the true), and aesthetic sensibility (the beautiful) into decisions, actions, and practices in the...
Article
This essay articulates two aspects of a changing Social Issues in Management (SIM) Division of the Academy of Management (AOM). First, the essay highlights the ways in which SIM’s central focus has shifted and changed over the years. Then, it briefly looks at the forces that are currently shaping SIM within AOM, particularly in spreading what used...
Article
This introductory paper frames the special issue by exploring the potential of academics and others to serve as Intellectual Shamans, Wayfinders and Edgewalkers to inspire system change. We draw upon the shamanic and Māori Wayfinding traditions as they apply to intellectuals in the management academy and the concept of Edgewalking to explore the wa...
Article
This introductory paper frames the special issue by exploring the potential of academics and others to serve as Intellectual Shamans, Wayfinders and Edgewalkers to inspire system change. We draw upon the shamanic and Māori Wayfinding traditions as they apply to intellectuals in the management academy and the concept of Edge-walking to explore the w...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the problems of current measures of business and economic success and suggests an alternative approach. The mythological memes of Midas, Cassandra, and the Buddha are offered as a means to frame mind-sets and to articulate a necessary shift in focus and reprioritization of key performance indicators. Indicators of wellbeing a...
Article
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Meta-governance is Earth system governance for dealing with the global commons. This article develops a whole network approach to meta-governance to explore the potential for collective action for sustainable development by a loosely coupled network of networks. Networked corporate social responsibility (CSR) governance has emerged around corporate...
Article
When I first read Thinking the Twenty-First Century by Malcolm McIntosh, I was blown away by the scope and depth of his ideas, devouring the entire book on an overseas flight. Many of us want to get our students, particularly our executive and MBA students, to think more radially and systemically about the future and what they can do as future (or...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend and elaborate the notion of successful organizational change to incorporate the concept of large system change (LSC), by developing a framework that brings together complexity and wicked problems theories to understand how individual organizations and change agents can better influence LSC. Design/m...

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