DOI: 10.3390/su151713103 ISSN:

Sustainable Leadership Practices Based on the Logic of the Honeybee Pyramid—Comparison of Hungarian and Polish SMEs

Andrea Bencsik, Sylwia Pangsy-Kania
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

The popularity of sustainability as a research topic in different areas of organisational functioning is marked by the number of studies on the topic. Significantly less research is addressing the factors that fundamentally influence the functioning of organisations. Among these factors, this paper will review the criteria for sustainable leadership. Competition in the economy has made it necessary to build sustainability capabilities in all areas of business, of which the practice of sustainable leadership is a fundamental requirement for making strategic decisions. This paper aims to examine the thinking, leadership styles, and decisions of leaders of organisations in everyday practice based on the pyramid logic of sustainable leadership. In this research, structured interviews with managers of Hungarian (32) and Polish (28) organisations were evaluated using the ‘Voyant tools’ 2.6.9. software. The results show that there is a significant difference between the Hungarian and Polish leadership mindsets, with both samples only partially meeting the expectations of what can be considered a sustainable leadership style in the spirit of the ‘Honeybee’ approach. Out of the 14 basic elements of the pyramid, the leaders of both nations reach the desired level in five cases. This study provides useful lessons for SME managers in developing sustainability management practices.

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