Dr. Elizabeth Kurucz is Associate Professor of Leadership and Sustainability in the Department of Management, Gordon S. Lang School of Business at the University of Guelph. Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from McMaster University and a Master of Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto, along with a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Her research is focused on the innovative design of interactions between individuals and organizations that catalyze learning toward social-ecological resilience.
Elizabeth's work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Business Ethics, Organization & Environment, the Journal of Cleaner Production, Management Learning, Business & Society, Human Resource Planning, and in the Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility and The Sage Handbook of Complexity and Management. Her book, with Barry Colbert and David Wheeler, is Reconstructing Value: Leadership Skills for a Sustainable World (2013) from the University of Toronto Press. A second edition of this book is currently underway.
Since 1998 Elizabeth’s teaching at York University, McMaster University, Dalhousie University and the Ontario College of Art and Design has focused primarily in the area of leadership, strategy and sustainability. She has designed and delivered courses for BComm, BBA, IBBA, MBA, MES, MEPP, EMDES, MA and PhD students and senior and middle managers across private, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Her courses have been profiled in Corporate Knights magazine and by the Aspen Centre for Business Education as innovative in the field.
She has been responsible for embedding sustainability in the Department of Management curriculum and was previously Co-Chair of a multi-disciplinary community of practice on Education for Sustainability. Elizabeth was awarded the University of Guelph Faculty Association’s Distinguished Professor Award for 2013 in recognition of her facilitative, learner-centred approach to teaching and her innovation in course design and delivery.
Elizabeth is faculty advisor for the Net Impact Graduate Chapter at the University of Guelph, which serves to link undergraduate business students with an interest in business and sustainability to other students and practitioners in this field. She also served as the faculty advisor who helped to establish the University of Guelph's Students Offering Support (SOS) Chapter that raises money to raise roofs through raising marks during their ‘Exam-AID’ group review sessions, taught and coordinated by student volunteers for university and high school students. Each year, the money raised will be spent creating sustainable education projects in developing nations on annual outreach trips.
Over the past decade, Elizabeth has created linkages between her research and teaching, and managers and employees aspiring to more sustainable practices. Using a design lab approach to multi-sector engagement, she looks for opportunities to build capacity in organizations while facilitating student learning and provoking insights in the academic field of business and sustainability.
Prior to pursuing an academic career, Elizabeth worked for several years in the field of Outdoor Education and also as a consultant in the Human Capital Solutions Group at KPMG, specializing in competency profile development. She has led several research and stakeholder consultation projects, including a study of social capital building in the Western Canadian energy sector, a stakeholder benefits assessment for the Randle Reef environmental remediation project in Hamilton Harbour, and ‘Sustainable Canada’, a study of the potential for branding Canada for sustainability that involved 14 companies across 8 industrial sectors.