Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams

Sustainability Research Fellow and Term Research Professor

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Amanda Williams is a Sustainability Research Fellow and Term Research Professor at the Center for Sustainable and Inclusive Business.

Amanda’s research lies at the intersection of sustainability management and social-ecological systems. She studies how organizations understand global sustainability issues and develop corporate sustainability strategies that align with global targets. She approaches her work from a systems theory perspective and works with qualitative research methods. She has published her work in the Academy of Management Discoveries, Strategic Organization, Business & Society, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Cleaner Production.

Prior to joining IMD, Amanda was a Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich where she collaborated with the UN Global Compact Network Switzerland to embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into corporate strategy. She was previously a research fellow in the Governing Responsible Business Research Environment at Copenhagen Business School. Amanda holds a PhD from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University where she helped to create the award-winning MOOC Driving Business Towards the SDGs. During her PhD, Amanda was a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the EU-funded training network Innovation for Sustainability (I4S). For this project, she collaborated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) where she was also an associate on the Redefining Value team. At WBCSD, she contributed to the SDG Compass, a guide for business action to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Before starting her PhD, Amanda earned an MSc in Business Administration Research from ESSEC Business School. She also obtained an MBA in Environmentally Sustainable Management and a BSc in Graphic Media Marketing both from Rochester Institute of Technology. She worked in marketing for a technology company for several years.

Academic publications
Article
Backstage interorganizational collaboration: Corporate endorsement of sustainable development goals
In September 2015, the United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals as the global development agenda. Since then, many companies have endorsed the goals. However, research has yet to a...
Published 1 December 2019
Article
Systems thinking: A review of sustainability management research
Scholars from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives have sought to unravel the high complexities of sustainability. A mature understanding of sustainability management requires studies to ad...
Published 1 April 2017
Article
Cross-Scale systemic resilience: Implications for organization studies
In this article, we posit that a cross-scale perspective is valuable for studies of organizational resilience. Existing research in our field primarily focuses on the resilience of organizations, t...
Published 2 January 2021
Article
A call for deep engagement for impact: Addressing the planetary emergency
In a world facing catastrophic shocks, there are tremendous opportunities for management scholars to engage and make fundamental contributions to the grand challenges that lie ahead. To do so, our ...
Published 1 August 2021
Article
SDG platforms as strategic innovation through partnerships
This paper examines organizational use of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why private organizations are using multi-stakeholder SDG platforms as a strategic tool for ac...
Published 1 November 2022
Insight for Executives
Platforms for change: How business can successfully harness UN development goals
Article
Platforms for change: How business can successfully harness UN development goals
Multistakeholder SDG platforms can open the way to enabling sustainability innovation both in and beyond companies, say IMD research fellow Amanda Williams and sustainability specialist Lara Anne B...
Published 28 October 2022
Sustainable development: Trust the science and get ready for constant change
Article
Sustainable development: Trust the science and get ready for constant change
The UN set ambitious targets to clean up the world by 2030, but business leaders need to do more to make them a reality.
Published 16 September 2021