My conviction to do doctoral research work with C-suite executives, especially in Nigeria, on advancement of corporate sustainability performance (CSP) is getting firmer with each passing day. The more I reflect on the breadth and depth of problems plaguing humanity, for which business must take the lead in tackling, the clearer I see several reasons to work with C-suite executives.
One of these reasons is that although C-suite executives largely provide strategic leadership in organizations, there is insufficient knowledge about their impact on firm performance, including CSP. Therefore, investigating in collaboration with C-suite executives how they drive advancement of CSP, an important present-day issue, is all the more necessary because sustainability is a step-by-step journey where they matter very much.
The second reason I chose to work with C-suite executives is my philosophical position, or my views on knowledge and knowing. I believe that the world is characterized by multiple, similarly tenable, socially-constructed realities. Correspondingly, there are several, equally tenable, socially-constructed realities about leadership capabilities for advancing CSP as Nigerian organizations evolve to sustainability. I also assume that knowledge, of the world and realities, is best acquired through researcher-participant interaction, interpretation of phenomena from participants’ perspectives and extraction of technical accounts from them using my researcher’s lenses. Therefore, knowledge of how Nigeria’s C-suite executives drive advancement of CSP can be very well acquired by collaboration with top managers in this study, interpretation of phenomena from participants’ perspectives and extraction of technical accounts from them using my researcher’s lenses.
A third reason, related to the second, is the compelling desire for one’s research to transcend being rigorous to being of great practical relevance to those in, as well those who aspire to be in, the upper echelons of the corporate world.
To sum up, I declare that I am all for collaboration with C-Suite executives to co-create knowledge on advancement of CSP that will give practically useful insights to management practitioners for the good of all.