Dr Helen Borland is senior lecturer in business sustainability at Aston Business School, Aston University, UK, where she is responsible for teaching strategic business sustainability to MBA, MSc, and PhD students. Helen’s research and teaching stem from her knowledge of the ecological sciences and philosophy behind sustainability and how these can be taught and researched in a business context. Her development of a unique strategic typology for business sustainability is gaining attention in a number of academic and commercial circles.
Helen has published in a variety of academic journals, including Journal of Business Ethics, International Marketing Review, Thunderbird International Business Review and European Journal of Marketing. She also speaks about business sustainability at public events, writes articles and book chapters for the popular press, and works on a number of consultancy and grant-awarded projects, including an EU Climate Change Leadership project.
(As programme director I have a combined 9 years directorship experience at both Birmingham and Cranfield, where I led the programmes through major organisational restructuring, QAA, ESRC and EQUIS exercises. I have also been responsible for major growth and expansion of the programmes.)
Previous Professional Experience
Prior to my academic career, I worked in both the fresh foods and hi-tech retail and distribution sectors in both the UK and the Far East, where I held international marketing management posts involving significant amounts of travel and large budgetary/income responsibilities.
I also have a wide range of consultancy, facilitation and corporate research experience for clients such as Unigate plc., Unipart plc., Barclays Bank, IBM-UK, Wincanton Distribution Services, Euromonitor plc., the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the FAO.
I teach Strategic Business Sustainability on the MBA Business, Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability module, and on the new MSc in Social Responsibility and Sustainability. I also teach Strategic Business Sustainability on some of the other MSc programmes in the Business School.
My main research interests centre around my research into Strategic Business Sustainability which focuses on how firms can adopt an ecologically sustainable approach to their strategic decision-making, senior management and leadership activities. The approach is interdisciplinary and in particular integrates scientific, psychological, philosophical and strategic aspects of sustainability and works towards positive solutions and visions for a more ecologically sustainable human future.
Current Research Interests
As part of a region-wide initiative, I won a research grant called ‘Climate Change Leadership’ (£47,000), which is part of a wider project called ‘Skills for Climate Change’ (£1.5 million), in conjunction with the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham City Council and part sponsored by the Environment Agency and European Social Fund (EU). This project is for three years duration (2009 – 2012) and aims to help improve the Midlands region’s corporate response to Climate Change and Sustainability, and particularly to embed it as a top management and leadership issue.
Recent Journal Articles
Borland, H., Ambrosini, V., Lindgreen, A. and Vanhamme,J. (2016). Building theory at the intersection of ecological sustainability and strategic management. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 293-307.
Borland, H., & Lindgreen, A. (2013).Sustainability, epistemology, ecocentric business and marketing strategy: ideology, reality and vision.Journal of Business Ethics,117(1), 173-187. DOI:10.1007/s10551-012-1519-8
Parkes, C., & Borland, H. (2012).Strategic HRM: transforming its responsibilities toward ecological sustainability - the greatest global challenge facing organizations.Thunderbird International Business Review,54(6), 811-824. DOI:10.1002/tie.21505
Borland, H., & Paliwoda, S. (2011).Marketing responsibility in an era of economic and climatic challenge.Marketing Intelligence and Planning,29(1), 49-62. DOI:10.1108/02634501111102742
Borland, H. (2009).Conceptualising global strategic sustainability and corporate transformational change.International Marketing Review,26(4-5), 554-572. DOI:10.1108/02651330910972039
Development Activities Attended