Professor Gail Whiteman

The Rubin Chair in Sustainability in Business


Gail Whiteman is Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business.

Her research utilises organisation theory on knowledge to analyse how a range of actors (companies, civil society, and local communities) make sense of ecological change, and how these actors transform and build resilience across scales given environmental pressures and social inequities.

Professor Whiteman is also the Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and was actively involved in building science-based targets including those for a future low-carbon economy. She is a Research Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), a Steering Committee member of the Future Earth Forum, and is an Executive Board member of the Resilience Alliance, an international research organisation of scientists and practitioners who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems.

Her research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Ecology & Society, and Nature, etc. Professor Whiteman was a 2011 Global Finalist in the Aspen Institute’s high-profile ranking of Faculty Pioneers in sustainability. Her research aims to help organisations deal more effectively with sustainability challenges, an objective she established during her former career in the private sector. She has led or is leading a number of large research grants related to sustainability and climate change, including the ICE-ARC research grant coordinated by the British Antarctic Survey. Professor Whiteman is also active in innovative business sustainability training and education and was the organiser of a high-profile event in 2011 – the Engaged Business Leaders’ Forum - in which H.R.H. Princess Irene of the Netherlands and H.R.H. Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme participated.

Social enterprise emergence from social movement activism: the Fairphone case
Akemu, O., Whiteman, G., Kennedy, S. 07/2016 In: Journal of Management Studies. 53, 5, p. 846-877. 32 p.
Journal article

A lot of icing but little cake?: taking integrated reporting forward
Perego, P., Kennedy, S., Whiteman, G. 17/02/2016 In: Journal of Cleaner Production.
Journal article

Vehicle emissions: Volkswagen and the road to Paris
Whiteman, G., Hoster, H. 4/11/2015 In: Nature. 527, 7576, 1 p.

Corporate philanthropic responses to emergent human needs: the role of organizational attention focus
Muller, A., Whiteman, G. 5/02/2015 In: Journal of Business Ethics. 16 p.
Journal article

Place and sense of place: implications for organizational studies of sustainability
Guthey, G.T., Whiteman, G., Elmes, M. 07/2014 In: Journal of Management Inquiry. 23, 3, p. 254-265. 12 p.
Journal article

The vast costs of Arctic change: methane released by melting ice sheets will have global economic impacts that must be better modelled
Whiteman, G., Hope, C., Wadhams, P. 25/07/2013 In: Nature. 499, 7459, 3 p.