Paul Shrivastava: A Journey from Crisis Mngt to Sustainable Leadership

Paul Shrivastava: A Visionary Leader in Sustainability and Management

In the realm of academia and sustainability leadership, one name stands out: Paul Shrivastava. His journey, marked by profound contributions to management and a relentless commitment to sustainability, unfolds as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring scholars and leaders alike.

Early Life and Education of Paul Shrivastava

Paul Shrivastava’s story begins in Bhopal, India, where he attended St. Joseph’s Convent School. His academic prowess took him to the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Fueling his passion for management, he pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (MBA) from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. His academic journey culminated in a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, laying the foundation for his future endeavors.

Academic Career

Paul Shrivastava’s academic trajectory is nothing short of extraordinary. Holding the Howard I. Scott Chair in Management at Bucknell University and serving as an Associate Professor of Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University, he quickly became a luminary in the field.

A Fulbright Program Senior Scholar award brought him to Kyoto University, Japan, where he delved into the intricacies of Japanese corporate environmental management.

In 1989, Paul Shrivastava authored “Bhopal: Anatomy of a Crisis,” a seminal work that pioneered the field of organizational crisis management. He went on to found the Organizations and Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management, solidifying his influence on the world’s largest academic professional association in Management studies.

Research Emphases

Paul Shrivastava;s profound impact on business management extends to strategic industrial and environmental crises, crisis management, corporate sustainability, and sustainable strategic management.

His work, rooted in a concern for human-technology-nature relationships, emerged from personal experiences, notably the Bhopal disaster. This catastrophe, the worst industrial accident in history, propelled him to explore the risks and crises associated with industrial technologies, shaping the field of crisis management.

A unique aspect of Paul Shrivastava;s contributions is “embodied learning” methods, where concepts intertwine with physically and emotionally engaging activities, creating enduring learning experiences.

His course “Managing with Passion” exemplifies this approach, offering students a blend of theoretical understanding and real-world application through organizing a USA Triathlon-sanctioned public triathlon race.

Creating New Organizations

Beyond academia, Shrivastava’s visionary spirit led to the creation of new organizations. In 1976, he played a pivotal role in launching the HCL Enterprise group of computer companies.

Academic organizations like the ONE Division of the Academy of Management, the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, and non-profit organizations such as the Industrial Crisis Institute showcase his commitment to fostering positive change.

Sustainability and Arts

Shrivastava’s exploration of corporate sustainability spans two decades, emphasizing that science alone cannot solve sustainability challenges.

He advocates for a new way of engaging with nature, intertwining science and the arts. Through transdisciplinary approaches involving researchers from France, Canada, USA, and India, he initiated projects like the Balance unBalance 2011 conference and the Montreal Degrowth 2012 conference, highlighting the role of arts in fostering passionate engagement with nature.


Paul Shrivastava’s accolades reflect the magnitude of his contributions. In 2023, he received the Academy of Management ONE Division Distinguished Scholar Award, adding to his esteemed IIM Calcutta Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016 and the AACSB Influential Leader award in 2015.

Also Read: Beheruz Nariman Sethna: Architect of Academic Transformation

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