Town and Gown for Good of All: Searching for C-suite Executives to Cocreate Practical Insights on Leadership for Corporate Sustainability Performance Advancement

No matter how disruptive COVID-19 has been, it has a few far-reaching lessons for humanity. One of the most poignant lessons, for me, is the vulnerability of existing systems and the fragility of all amidst continual disconnectedness. The best systems amount to nothing, without regard for the good of all. Similarly, the strongest of us is no better than a weakling, in the absence of concern for one another. What do town and gown have to do with COVID-19 and the emergent lessons for humanity?

In medieval times, it was commonplace for the academic community to be at daggers drawn with the people of the university’s domicile. The relationship of town and gown was largely adversarial and hardly collaborative. However, with time came a diminishing of the hostility between town and gown. Today, there is an increasing realisation that humanity is better off with the collaboration of town and gown. More than ever before, we need to forge closer ties between researchers and practitioners in all fields of human endeavour.

The gargantuan scale of challenges confronting mankind, including the vulnerability of existing economic, social, political and environmental systems, among others as well as the fragility of humanity amidst continual disconnectedness, imposes an obligation on researchers who yearn for the good of all to reach out to town. Responsible scholars who have an eye on impact and transformation of the less-than-satisfactory state of our economic, social, political and environmental systems have a duty to go to town in search of practitioners who are willing to cocreate practical insights that could lift humanity in various ways.

Africa’s social challenges constitute such a rich and important context, with added interest, novelty, and relevance to scholarly work that academic exploration of same could shape our existing theories and enrich scholarly dialog (George, 2015). However, addressing these challenges and Africa’s attainment of the SDGs by 2030 requires more meaningful integration of African voices and perspectives in a transdisciplinary and problem oriented research within the field instead of existing scattered efforts by very few African scholars (Gasparatos et al., 2017). 

Since I began my journey of self-discovery and personal development about eight years ago, I have been experiencing an increasing desire to apply myself for the good of all in all my endeavours. My odyssey, so far, has brought me to a stage where I’m a Doctorate of Business Administration candidate at Business School Lausanne, conducting research on how C-suite executives’ leadership fosters the advancement of Corporate Sustainability Performance (CSP) in Nigeria-based organisations.

Since the exigencies of the current Covid-19 pandemic limit face-to-face contacts, I would like to conduct online focus group discussions with C-suite executives to obtain a richer understanding of how C-suite executives provide leadership to advance CSP in Nigeria.

Hence, I solicit the help of C-suite executives of Nigeria-based organisations as participants in a series of online focus group discussions with C-suite executives, that will take about 90 minutes.

Interested participants who would like to provide valuable insights into this study and contribute to knowledge and practice of C-suite leadership of CSP advancement, should please feel free to contact me at: pius.ughakpoteni@bsl-lausanne.ch for us to work out the details and timing.

In conclusion, I appeal to C-suite executives in Nigeria: Let us join hands to cocreate practical insights on leadership for Corporate Sustainability Performance Advancement in Nigeria.

#leadership #sustainability #research #topmanagement #csuiteexecutives #corporatesustainabilityperformance

References

Gasparatos, A., Takeuchi, K., Elmqvist, T., Fukushi, K., Nagao, M., Swanepoel, F., Swilling, M., Trotter, D., & von Blottnitz, H. 2017. Sustainability science for meeting Africa’s challenges: setting the stage. Sustainability Science, 12(5): 635-640.

George, G. 2015. Expanding context to redefine theories: Africa in management research. Management and Organization Review, 11(1): 5-10.

Published by

Pius O. Ughakpoteni

Currently a doctoral candidate at Business School Lausanne, Pius is an adept Ex-Journalist-turned-Public Relations, Management and Futuristic Sustainability Leadership Practitioner-Researcher. Passionate about continuous professional development, Pius earned three Master’s degrees from three universities in England in six years. These are: Master of Science in Business and Management Research from Henley Business School at University of Reading (2017); Master of Business Administration in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria (2014) as well as Master of Arts in Leading Innovation and Change from York St John University (2013). He got a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Management from the University of Calabar in 1991. The following year, he began his working career as a Management Assistant. Two years later, he veered into Journalism as a Researcher/Reporter at Nigeria’s THISDAY newspaper. Pius worked on the Business, Energy and Politics desks in several newspapers, and eventually became Associate Editor of Leadership newspaper before he joined the public service. Since 2004, he has risen from Senior Manager position to Deputy Director at the Niger Delta Development Commission, an organisation set up by an Act of the Nigerian parliament to facilitate the sustainable development of the country’s Niger Delta region. Pius's areas of expertise include: Writing, Research, Public Relations, Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement. His research interests lie at the intersection of leadership, sustainability, innovation, change and strategy implementation. He is fascinated by collaboration and constructive engagement for change as well as by questions around how to work with top executives to advance corporate sustainability performance for the good of all.

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