Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

  • Cadiz Dyball Andy Wang Sue Wright M
  • Cho C
  • Michelon G
 et al. 
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Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by emerald-srm:374558 [] For Authors If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors service information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visit for more information. About Emerald Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes, as well as providing an extensive range of online products and additional customer resources and services. Emerald is both COUNTER 4 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how the lack of staff engagement with a university's strategy on sustainability could be an enabling lever for organisational change. It examines the attitudes and views of employees of a business faculty at an Australian metropolitan university as it attempts to adopt a holistic approach to sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper opted for a case study using data from an on-line survey, semi-directed interviews with key management personnel and archival material. Responses were analysed using Piderit's (2000) notion of ambivalence. Findings – The paper provides empirical insights into why staff lacked engagement with the university's strategy on sustainability. It suggests that staff were ambivalent, displaying dissonance in their personal beliefs on sustainability, the university's strategy and the extent of their intentions to support the university. Staff were willing to offer ideas on how the university could, in the future, change towards sustainability. These ideas allow the possibility for the university to learn to adjust the scope of the implementation of its sustainability strategy. Research limitations/implications – The research results may lack generalisability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to further examine staff attitudes on sustainability in higher education using Piderit's notion of ambivalence. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions could allow a better understanding of harmony and dissonance in cognition of and intention for university sustainability strategies and initiatives by academic, professional and sessional staff. Practical implications – The paper includes implications for staff engagement with sustainability in higher education. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need to study how staff engagement with sustainability in higher education can be enabled for organisational learning.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Organizational change
  • Staff engagement
  • Sustainability

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  • Maria F Cadiz Dyball Andy Wang Sue Wright

  • Charles H Cho

  • Giovanna Michelon

  • Dennis M Patten

  • James Guthrie

  • Lee D Parker

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