Skip to main content

Department of Management

Professor Gail Whiteman

Professor Gail Whiteman

Professor of Sustainability




Gail Whiteman is a Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School (UK). She is a social science expert how decision-makers make sense of systemic global risks from climate change and other environmental threats.

She is a past member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Frontier Risk, keynote speaker at Davos in 2023, “Unlocking the Polar Crisis” with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, and in 2020, “What’s at Stake: The Arctic,” alongside Sanna Marin (Prime Minister, Finland) and Al Gore. In 2021, she organised and participated in a High Level Panel – “A Plan for the Planet – the Arctic and Beyond” -- with TIME Magazine as part of WEF's media programme for the online Davos Agenda, together with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Robert Downey Jr., Baroness Bryony Worthington, Rainn Wilson, and Eric Rondolat.

Professor Whiteman is also the Founder of Arctic Basecamp, a registered not-for-profit science outreach platform. Since 2012, she is the Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and is actively involved in building science-based targets for collective business action.

She is regularly quoted in the media and has had numerous research grants from NERC, the EU and other sources. Professor Whiteman was named one of the top 20 UK Communicators of the Year in 2021 by PR Week, and is a member of the Climate Advisory Council for media outlet Reuters IMPACT to advise on their climate reporting.

Nationality: Dual - Canadian & British


Back to top


Research interests

  • Global risk
  • Sensemaking and environmental threats
  • Climate change

Back to top



de Jonge C, Whiteman G (eds)(2014). Arne Naess (1912–2009)., Oxford University Press. Abstract.

Journal articles

Whiteman G, Williams A (In Press). A Call for Deep Engagement for Impact: Addressing the Planetary Emergency. Strategic Organization
Whiteman G, Williams A, Heucher K (In Press). Planetary emergency and paradox. Research in the socIology of organIzatIons part 73a, 73a
Bai X, Hasan S, Andersen LS, Bjørn A, Kilkiş Ş, Ospina D, Liu J, Cornell SE, Sabag Muñoz O, de Bremond A, et al (2024). Translating Earth system boundaries for cities and businesses. Nature Sustainability, 7(2), 108-119.
Warszawski L, Kriegler E, Lenton TM, Gaffney O, Jacob D, Klingenfeld D, Koide R, Costa MM, Messner D, Nakicenovic N, et al (2023). Corrigendum: all options, not silver bullets, needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C: a scenario appraisal (2021 Environ. Res. Lett. 16 064037). Environmental Research Letters, 18(4).
Bai X, Bjørn A, Kılkış Ş, Sabag Muñoz O, Whiteman G, Hoff H, Seaby Andersen L, Rockström J (2022). How to stop cities and companies causing planetary harm. Nature, 609(7927), 463-466.
Warszawski L, Kriegler E, Lenton TM, Gaffney O, Jacob D, Klingenfeld D, Koide R, Costa MM, Messner D, Nakicenovic N, et al (2021). All options, not silver bullets, needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C: a scenario appraisal. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 16(6).  Author URL.
Williams A, Whiteman G, Kennedy S (2021). Cross-Scale Systemic Resilience: Implications for Organization Studies. Business and Society, 60(1), 95-124. Abstract.
Alvarez J, Yumashev D, Whiteman G (2020). A framework for assessing the economic impacts of Arctic change. Ambio, 49(2), 407-418. Abstract.
Williams A, Whiteman G, Parker JN (2019). Backstage Interorganizational Collaboration: Corporate Endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Academy of Management Discoveries, 5(4), 367-395.
Yumashev D, Hope C, Schaefer K, Riemann-Campe K, Iglesias-Suarez F, Jafarov E, Burke EJ, Young PJ, Elshorbany Y, Whiteman G, et al (2019). Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements. Nat Commun, 10(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Tucci C, Mueller J, Christianson M, Whiteman G, Bamberger P (2019). DISCOVERING THE DISCOVERIES: WHAT AMD AUTHORS' VOICES CAN TELL US. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT DISCOVERIES, 5(3), 209-216.  Author URL.
Etchanchu H, Riaz MS, Davis GF, Gehman J, Mair J, Whiteman G (2019). Taking on the Challenge: How Organization Theorists can Address Grand Challenges. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019(1).
Biggart NW, Roulet TJ, Suddaby RR, Whiteman G (2019). The Essay as an Alternative Form of Knowledge Creation. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019(1).
Figueres C, Le Quere C, Mahindra A, Baete O, Whiteman G, Peters G, Guan D (2018). Emissions are still rising: ramp up the cuts. NATURE, 564(7734), 27-30.  Author URL.
Whiteman G, Yumashev D (2018). Poles Apart: the Arctic & Management Studies. Journal of Management Studies, 55(5), 873-879.
Whiteman G, Zundel M, Holt R (2018). Provoked by <i>Charlie Hebdo</i>: Visual Satire and Management Studies. Academy of Management Review, 43(3), 530-540.
Christianson MK, Whiteman G (2018). Qualitative Discovery: Empirical Exploration at AMD. Academy of Management Discoveries, 4(4), 397-403.
Branzei O, Munoz P, Delmas M, Hoffman AJ, Jennings PD, Whiteman G, Russell SV, Bertels S, Binder JK, Branzei O, et al (2018). Regenerative Organizations: Living and Well-being in, with and for Nature. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1).
Branzei O, Muñoz P, Russell S, Whiteman G (2017). Call for papers: Special issue on “regenerative organizations: Business and climate action beyond mitigation and adaptation”. Organization and Environment, 30(3), 275-277.
Yumashev D, Hope C, Schaefer K, Riemann-Campe K, Iglesias-Suarez F, Jafarov E, Whiteman G, Young P (2017). Climate Policy Implications of Nonlinear Decline of Arctic Land Permafrost and Sea Ice. Abstract.
Banerjee B, Calas MB, Ergene S, Hoffman AJ, Jennings PD, Jermier JM, Nyberg D, Shrivastava P, Smircich L, Whiteman G, et al (2017). Organizing in/for the Anthropocene: Radical Transdisciplinary Thinking. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1).
Kennedy S, Whiteman G, van den Ende J (2017). Radical Innovation for Sustainability: the Power of Strategy and Open Innovation. LONG RANGE PLANNING, 50(6), 712-725.  Author URL.
Green JMH, Cranston GR, Sutherland WJ, Tranter HR, Bell SJ, Benton TG, Blixt E, Bowe C, Broadley S, Brown A, et al (2017). Research priorities for managing the impacts and dependencies of business upon food, energy, water and the environment. Sustainability Science, 12(2), 319-331. Abstract.
Williams A, Kennedy S, Philipp F, Whiteman G (2017). Systems thinking: a review of sustainability management research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 148, 866-881. Abstract.
Figueres C, Schellnhuber HJ, Whiteman G, Rockström J, Hobley A, Rahmstorf S (2017). Three years to safeguard our climate. Nature, 546(7660), 593-595.
Yumashev D, van Hussen K, Gille J, Whiteman G (2017). Towards a balanced view of Arctic shipping: estimating economic impacts of emissions from increased traffic on the Northern Sea Route. Climatic Change, 143(1-2), 143-155. Abstract.
Leino K, Whiteman G, Fahy K (2017). “Bigger, Bolder and more Ambitious”: Using a Boundary Object to Collaborate on Sustainability. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1).
Perego P, Kennedy S, Whiteman G (2016). A lot of icing but little cake? Taking integrated reporting forward. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136, 53-64. Abstract.
Muller A, Whiteman G (2016). Corporate Philanthropic Responses to Emergent Human Needs: the Role of Organizational Attention Focus. Journal of Business Ethics, 137(2), 299-314. Abstract.
Whiteman G, Cooper WH (2016). Decoupling Rape. Academy of Management Discoveries, 2(2), 115-154.
Jolly F, Whiteman G (2016). Last words. Human Relations, 59(3), 443-444.
Whiteman G (2016). Poems from James Bay. Organization & Environment, 10(2), 191-193.
Whiteman G, Cooper WH (2016). Sixty-six ways to get it wrong. Human Relations, 59(3), 409-427. Abstract.
Akemu O, Whiteman G, Kennedy S (2016). Social Enterprise Emergence from Social Movement Activism: the Fairphone Case. Journal of Management Studies, 53(5), 846-877. Abstract.
Williams AN, Whiteman G, Kennedy S (2016). Social-Ecological Resilience: the Role of Organizations Amidst Panarchy. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2016(1).
Whiteman G (2016). Why are we Talking Inside?. Journal of Management Inquiry, 13(3), 261-277. Abstract.
Kennedy S, Whiteman G (2015). Environmentalism and Corporate Sustainability. , 1-8. Abstract.
Willmott H, Schultz M, Wadhwani RD, Whiteman G, Wiebe E (2015). Futures Beyond Strategy: Organizational Agency in the Creation of Future Practices and Visions. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1).
Whiteman G, Hoster H (2015). Vehicle emissions: Volkswagen and the road to Paris. Nature, 527(7576).
Guthey GT, Whiteman G, Elmes M (2014). Place and sense of place: Implications for organizational studies of sustainability. Journal of Management Inquiry, 23(3), 254-265. Abstract.
Roberts C, Finkbeiner A, Comfort N, Farmelo G, Gong L, Draaisma D, Catley-Carlson M, Whiteman G, Abdulla S, Baker J, et al (2014). Summer books. Nature, 511(7508), 152-154.
Kennedy S, Whiteman G, Williams AN (2014). Sustainable Innovation at Interface. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1).
Whiteman G (2014). The Zero Marginal Cost Society: the Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. NATURE, 511(7508), 154-154.  Author URL.
Parmentier FJW, Christensen TR (2013). Arctic: Speed of methane release. Nature, 500(7464).
Whiteman G, Hope C, Wadhams P (2013). Authors' reply. Nature, 500(7464).
Kraemer R, Whiteman G, Banerjee B (2013). Conflict and Astroturfing in Niyamgiri: the Importance of National Advocacy Networks in Anti-Corporate Social Movements. Organization Studies, 34(5-6), 823-852. Abstract.
Whiteman G (2013). Economics: Fixing the climate odds. Nature, 502(7472).
Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, Whiteman G (2013). Future imaginings: organizing in response to climate change. Organization, 20(5), 647-658.
Hope C, Wadhams P, Whiteman G (2013). STAGING IMPORT - THREE, REPEATED AGAIN: Vast costs of Arctic change. Nature, 401-403.
Hope C, Wadhams P, Whiteman G (2013). STAGING IMPORT - THREE, REPEATED: Vast costs of Arctic change. Nature, 496test(7275test), 401-403.
Whiteman G, Hope C, Wadhams P (2013). Vast costs of Arctic change. Nature, 499(7459), 401-403.
Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, Whiteman G (2013). Voices from the front lines of the climate wars. Organization, 20(5), 743-744.
Carmack E, McLaughlin F, Whiteman G, Homer-Dixon T (2012). Detecting and Coping with Disruptive Shocks in Arctic Marine Systems: a Resilience Approach to Place and People. AMBIO, 41(1), 56-65.
Whiteman G, Walker B, Perego P (2012). Planetary Boundaries: Ecological Foundations for Corporate Sustainability. Journal of Management Studies, 50(2), 307-336. Abstract.
Elmes MB, Jiusto S, Whiteman G, Hersh R, Guthey GT (2012). Teaching Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Perspective of Place and Place Making. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), 533-554.
Whiteman G, de Vos DR, Chapin FS, Yli-Pelkonen V, Niemelä J, Forbes BC (2011). Business strategies and the transition to low-carbon cities. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(4), 251-265. Abstract.
Whiteman G (2011). Climate economics: Corporate greening falls short. Nature, 473(7346), 149-150.
Whiteman G, Cooper WH (2011). Ecological Sensemaking. Academy of Management Journal, 54(5), 889-911.
Whiteman G, Dorsey M, Wittneben B (2010). Businesses and biodiversity: they would say that. Nature, 466(7305), 435-435.
Whiteman G (2010). Heart Matters. Journal of Management Inquiry, 19(4), 348-349. Abstract.
Whiteman G (2010). Management Studies That Break Your Heart. Journal of Management Inquiry, 19(4), 328-337. Abstract.
Jolly F, Whiteman G, Atkinson M, Radu I (2010). Managing and Educating Outside: a Cree Hunter’s Perspective on Management Education. Journal of Management Education, 35(1), 27-50. Abstract.
Bruijn E, Whiteman G (2010). That Which Doesn’t Break Us: Identity Work by Local Indigenous ‘Stakeholders’. Journal of Business Ethics, 96(3), 479-495.
Whiteman G (2010). “First you Have to Get Outside”: Reflecting on the Ecological Location of Qualitative Research. Organization & Environment, 23(2), 119-131. Abstract.
Whiteman G (2009). All My Relations: Understanding Perceptions of Justice and Conflict between Companies and Indigenous Peoples. Organization Studies, 30(1), 101-120. Abstract.
Loorbach D, van Bakel JC, Whiteman G, Rotmans J (2009). Business strategies for transitions towards sustainable systems. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19(2), 133-146. Abstract.
Muller A, Whiteman G (2009). Exploring the geography of corporate philanthropic disaster response: a study of fortune global 500 firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(4), 589-603. Abstract.
Whiteman G (2009). Recession Watch: Investing in the environment. Nature, 457(7232), 965-966.
Guthey GT, Whiteman G (2009). Social and ecological transitions: Winemaking in california. E:CO Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 11(3), 37-48. Abstract.
Whiteman G, Müller T, Johnson JM (2009). Strong emotions at work. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: an International Journal, 4(1), 46-61. Abstract.
Muller A, Whiteman G (2008). Exploring the Geography of Corporate Philanthropic Disaster Response: a Study of Fortune Global 500 Firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(4), 605-605.
Flanagan W, Whiteman G (2006). “AIDS is Not a Business”: a Study in Global Corporate Responsibility – Securing Access to Low-cost HIV Medications. Journal of Business Ethics, 73(1), 65-75.
Whiteman G, Forbes BC, Niemelä J, Chapin FS (2004). Bringing Feedback and Resilience of High-latitude Ecosystems into the Corporate Boardroom. Ambio, 33(6), 371-376.
Whiteman G (2004). The impact of economic development in James Bay, Canada: the Cree tallymen speak out. Organization and Environment, 17(4), 425-448. Abstract.
Whiteman G, Cooper WH (2000). Ecological embeddedness. Academy of Management Journal, 43(5), 1265-1282. Abstract.
Whiteman G, Cooper WH (2000). Ecological embeddedness. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, 43(6), 1265-1282.  Author URL.
Chapin FS, Whiteman G (1998). Sustainable Development of the Boreal Forest: Interaction of Ecological, Social, and Business Feedbacks. Ecology and Society, 2(2). Abstract.


Ferri M, Stowell A, Whiteman G (2023). Plastic futures: Mobilising circular economy contexts to address the plastic crisis. In  (Ed) Handbook of the Circular Economy: Transitions and Transformation, 307-331. Abstract.
Kennedy S, Whiteman G, Von Schwedler M (2017). A place-based analysis of sustainable water management. In  (Ed) The World Scientific Reference on Entrepreneurship, 159-192. Abstract.
Kennedy S, Whiteman G, Schwedler MV (2016). A Place-Based Analysis of Sustainable Water Management. In  (Ed) The World Scientific Reference on Entrepreneurship, WORLD SCIENTIFIC, 159-192.
Whiteman G, Kennedy S (2016). Sustainability as Process. In  (Ed) The SAGE Handbook of Process Organization Studies, SAGE Publications, 417-431.
Kennedy S, Whiteman G, Williams A (2015). Sustainable Innovation at Interface. In  (Ed) The Psychology of Green Organizations, Oxford University Press (OUP), 350-377.


Chapin FS, Peterson G, Berkes F, Callaghan TV, Angelstam P, Apps M, Beier C, Bergeron Y, Crépin AS, Danell K, et al (2004). Resilience and vulnerability of northern regions to social and environmental change. Abstract.

Back to top

External Engagement and Impact

External positions

  • Founder, Arctic Basecamp
  • Member, World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Frontier Risk
  • Professor-in-Residence, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Back to top


  • Executive Education on Corporate Sustainability and global risks from environmental change



Back to top

Edit Profile