Sustainable leadership practices driving financial performance: empirical evidence from Thai SMEs

Suparak Suriyankietkaew, Gayle Avery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Many managers and researchers alike are asking: What does an enterprise need to do to generate a proper balance between economic, social, and ecological objectives while gaining superior corporate financial performance, resilience, and sustainability? Several leadership concepts for enhancing organizational sustainability have emerged in recent years, but none provides an integrative approach, with the exception of Sustainable Leadership (SL). However, empirical research examining the effects of various SL practices on financial performance and other business outcomes is lacking. This article addresses this gap by empirically investigating the relationships between 23 SL practices and financial performance. Using a cross-sectional survey, data stem from 439 managers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand. Of the 23 SL practices in SL, 16 were significantly associated with corporate financial performance. Four SL practices, in particular-amicable labor relations, valuing employees, social responsibility, plus strong and shared vision-were significant drivers, and positive predictors, of enhanced long-term firm performance. Lastly, implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number327
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 by the Author(s). Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the author/s.


  • Financial performance
  • Leadership
  • SMEs
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable leadership
  • Thailand

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