AUT - Kate Kearins


Professor Kate Kearins

Professor of Management

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 - ext: 5422



Kate completed her PhD in 1997 focusing on power relations in local government. Since, she has reoriented much of her research towards business engagement with sustainability. Tying her work together is an orientation toward social and environmental justice, enacted through an analysis of power exercised in and around organisations. Kate has also coauthored a series of papers on business education for sustainability, most recently with Dr Eva Collins. With Professor Markus Milne, she was principal investigator on a Marsden-funded project worth investigating New Zealand business and sustainability. She is an associate investigator on Dr Helen Tregidga's Marsden funded fast start project.
Kate has authored over 100 academic papers, with more than 50 of these appearing in refereed journals on an eclectic mix of management, organisational and accounting topics. She favours interpretive and critical approaches, with an emphasis on discourse, textual and case-based methods. She has been joint-recipient of several international awards for case research.
Kate was Chair of the US-based Academy of Management’s Organizations and the Natural Environment Division in 2006-7, and is currently a member of the Academy's Board of Governors.  She is also a regional representative and director of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management.  She serves on the editorial boards of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Business and Society, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Education, Management Communication Quarterly, and Organization and Environment.
Kate won the Vice-Chancellor's award for Excellence in Research Supervision in 2009.

Teaching Areas:

Expertise in Degree and Postgraduate Teaching
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Environmental management and sustainability
  • Strategic management

Research areas:

  • Business and Sustainability Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Accountability
  • Education for Sustainability

Research Summary:

Interests in Research Supervision
  • Sustainability, social and environmental responsibility, stakeholder engagement and collaboration
  • Organisation studies
  • Business Education
  • Interpretive, discourse analytical and case research

Current Research Projects:

  • Business and sustainability: A theoretical review
  • Time for collaboration for sustainability
  • A 20 point plan for sustainability in New Zealand universities and polytechnics
  • Ecopreneurs selling up or selling out?


Selected Publications
  1. Sharma, A. & Kearins, K. (2011 forthcoming). Inter-organizational collaboration for regional sustainability: What happens when organizational representatives come together? Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 47 (2).
  2. Kearins, K., Collins, E., & Tregidga, H. (2010). Beyond corporate environmental management to a consideration of nature in visionary small enterprise, Business and Society, 49 (3), 512-547.
  3. Collins, E. & Kearins, K. (2010). Delivering on sustainability’s global and local orientation. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9 (3), 499-506.
  4. Hooper, K. & Kearins, K. (2008), "The walrus, carpenter and oysters: Liberal reform, hypocrisy and expertocracy in Maori land loss in New Zealand 1885-1911, Critical Perspectives in Accounting, 19 (8), 1239-1292.
  5. Hooper, K.C. & Kearins, K. (2007), “Recurrent rescues of a financial institution: Enduring human features and socialised losses“, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 18 (4), 469-486.
  6. Milne, M., Kearins, K. & Walton, S. (2006), “Business makes a 'journey' out of 'sustainability’: Creating adventures in Wonderland?”, Organization, 13 (6), 801-839.
  7. Hooper, K., Kearins, K. & Green, R. (2005), “Knowing 'the price of everything and the value of nothing’: Accounting for heritage assets“, Accounting, Accountability and Auditing Journal, 8 (3), 410-433.
  8. Kearins, K. & Springett, D. (2003), “Educating for sustainability: Developing critical skills“, Journal of Management Education, 27 (2), 188-204.
  9. Kearins, K. & Hooper, K. C. (2002), “Genealogical method and analysis“, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15 (5), 733-757.
  10. Livesey, S. & Kearins, K. (2002), “Transparent and caring corporations? A study of Sustainability Reports by The Body Shop and Royal Dutch/Shell“, Organization and Environment, 15 (3), 229-254.
  11. With Professor Marilyn Waring, Kate has edited a collection 'Thesis Survivor Stories' documenting the experiences of successful thesis writers in the social sciences and in business, and offering practical advice on getting through PhD or Masters theses. The book can be purchased online at

Last updated: 06 Oct 2011 11:30am

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