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Dr Sara Walton

BA MCom DipTour PGCertTertT PhD(Otago)Sara_Walton_image

Senior Lecturer
Room: Commerce 710
Tel: +64 3 479 5108
Fax: +64 3 479 8173
Email: sara.walton@otago.ac.nz

Dr Sara Walton is a senior lecturer in the area of business, sustainability and the natural environment. Her research includes; examining ecopreneurial businesses in New Zealand, social enterprise and for-benefit organisations, business responses to climate change, understanding natural resource based conflicts and analysing triple bottom line (TBL) company reports and constructions of sustainability. Sara is part of the MBIE funded Energy Cultures team at Otago where she leads the work streams researching SME’s energy and transport practices.

Sara is leading the Lighting Vanuatu project, funded by AusAID within the Vanuatu Governance for Growth (GfG) Program. It commenced in June 2010 with the objective of accelerating the conversion of rural Vanuatu households from kerosene-based lighting to affordable, safe, and reliable solar-charged LED lighting. The project aimed to distribute a minimum of 24,000 pico‐solar products, with particular focus on those households with no access to electricity, and particularly those located outside the major population centres of Port Vila on Efate, and the Luganville area on the island of Espiritu Santo. A team from Otago University, funded by AusAid, with Dr Sara Walton as PI is working with David Swete-Kelly an independent consultant/evaluator to evaluate and research the adoption of the change in lighting technologies. The team, stemming from the Energy Cultures group here at Otago, also consists of Drs Rebecca Ford and Adam Doering plus Cle-Anne Gabriel, a PhD candidate in renewable energies in the Department of Management. They particpated in the in-country 'mission' of two weeks where they visited a variety of villages, many remote, to see the way in which the lights have been adopted.

Sara has previously spent time in Samoa researching the social enterprise 'Women in Business' with Oxfam and is working with AusAid with renewable energy projects in the Pacific. She is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group at the University and is on the Trust Board of Trade Aid New Zealand as well as the Dunedin City Fairtrade Steering Group. She regularly consults with business on sustainability. Sara has work published in leading journals such as Organization, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ) and Organization and Environment. Dr Walton’s research has been recognised through best papers at two Academy of Management conferences and a Mary Parker Follet award for a co-authored paper in AAAJ.

Read about Sara's ecopreneur research in He Kitenga.

Read about Sara's pilot study examining the energy habits of SMEs in Dunedin in 'Energy saving for SMEs' on page 33 of the Otago Magazine 33. (PDF, 2.6MB)

Read about the research Sara and a group of others from the department about the future of work in 'Dateline Dunedin 2063' page 34 of the Otago Magazine 36. (PDF, 1.9MB)

View one of Sara's recent presentations on the Garrison Institute website.

Watch Sara discuss the research being done by a group of researchers from the department on the future of work on Dunedin Television on January 28.

Read the Future of Work Research Centre report (PDF, 2.4MB), Future of Work: Dunedin, and visit the blog that contains the latest news, reports and presentations from this research team in the department.

Teaching responsibilities

Sara’s teaching responsibilities include:

Research interests

  • Examining ecopreneurial businesses in New Zealand
  • Social enterprise and for-benefit organisations
  • Business responses to climate change
  • Understanding natural resource based conflicts and analysing triple bottom line (TBL) company reports
  • Constructions of sustainability

Current supervisions

Sara is currently supervising the following students:

PhD

Sally Blackwell - Middle-out change in the New Zealand housing performance sector. (Supervisors: Janet Stephenson, CSAFE; Sara Walton; Rebecca Ford, VUW)

Nana Bortsie-Aryee - Water Footprinting: Theory to Reality – Building competitive advantage around water. (Supervisors: Sara Walton, Conor O'Kane, Peter Fennessy) - under examination

Intan Wahyoe - Eco-innovation: how do actually companies eco-innovate? (Supervisors: Sara Walton, Jodyanne Kirkwood)

Completed

Cle-Anne Gabriel (2015). Renewable energy start-up businesses: Typology and critical success factors in transitioning countries. (Supervisors: Beth Rose, Sara Walton, Jodyanne Kirkwood)

David McKay (2014). Identifying and describing how environmental education is conceptualised and practiced among New Zealand Māori. (Supervisors: Hugh Campbell, Sara Walton, Jim Williams)

Babak Zahraie (2017). Green Entrepreneurs: Change Agents towards Sustainability. (Supervisors: André Everett, Sara Walton, Jodyanne Kirkwood)

MCom

Angela Howell - What will make business operations in NZ SMEs more energy efficient?

Letisha Nicholas (in conjunction with the Centre for Sustainability)

Completed

Abbe Hyde

Other responsibilities

Sara’s other responsibilities include:

  • Divisional Representative on the University Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group

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Publications

Kirkwood, J., Dwyer, K., & Walton, S. (2017). An ecopreneur’s growing resilience after a series of earthquakes. Journal of Enterprising Communities, 11(1), 129-148. doi: 10.1108/JEC-12-2014-0028

Ford, R., Walton, S., Stephenson, J., Rees, D., Scott, M., King, G., Williams, J., & Wooliscroft, B. (2017). Emerging energy transitions: PV uptake beyond subsidies. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 117, 138-150. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.12.007

Zahraie, B., Everett, A. M., Walton, S., & Kirkwood, J. (2016). Environmental entrepreneurs facilitating change toward sustainability: A case study of the wine industry in New Zealand. Small Enterprise Research, 23(1), 39-57. doi: 10.1080/13215906.2016.1188717

Zhang, J. A., & Walton, S. (2016). Eco-innovation and business performance: The moderating effects of environmental orientation and resource commitment in green-oriented SMEs. R & D Management. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/radm.12241

Gabriel, C.-A., Kirkwood, J., Walton, S., & Rose, E. L. (2016). How do developing country constraints affect renewable energy entrepreneurs? Energy for Sustainable Development, 35, 52-66. doi: 10.1016/j.esd.2016.09.006

Chapter in Book - Research

Walton, S. (2007). Natural History New Zealand: Being located in a wildlife capital. In K. Inkson, V. Browning & J. Kirkwood (Eds.), Working on the Edge: A portrait of business in Dunedin. (pp. 198-207). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Walton, S. (2002). Career stories: the changing world of work. In Human Resource Management in Action. Department of Management: Dunedin.

Walton, S. (2001). Career stories: The changing world of work. In G. R. Elkin (Ed.), Human Resource Management in Action. Contemporary New Zealand Cases - Vol 2. (pp. 87-91). Palmerston North: Dunmore Press Limited.

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Journal - Research Article

Kirkwood, J., Dwyer, K., & Walton, S. (2017). An ecopreneur’s growing resilience after a series of earthquakes. Journal of Enterprising Communities, 11(1), 129-148. doi: 10.1108/JEC-12-2014-0028

Ford, R., Walton, S., Stephenson, J., Rees, D., Scott, M., King, G., Williams, J., & Wooliscroft, B. (2017). Emerging energy transitions: PV uptake beyond subsidies. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 117, 138-150. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.12.007

Zahraie, B., Everett, A. M., Walton, S., & Kirkwood, J. (2016). Environmental entrepreneurs facilitating change toward sustainability: A case study of the wine industry in New Zealand. Small Enterprise Research, 23(1), 39-57. doi: 10.1080/13215906.2016.1188717

Gabriel, C.-A., Kirkwood, J., Walton, S., & Rose, E. L. (2016). How do developing country constraints affect renewable energy entrepreneurs? Energy for Sustainable Development, 35, 52-66. doi: 10.1016/j.esd.2016.09.006

Zhang, J. A., & Walton, S. (2016). Eco-innovation and business performance: The moderating effects of environmental orientation and resource commitment in green-oriented SMEs. R & D Management. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/radm.12241

Stephenson, J., Barton, B., Carrington, G., Doering, A., Ford, R., Hopkins, D., Lawson, R., McCarthy, A., … Scott, M., Thorsnes, P., Walton, S., Williams, J., & Wooliscroft, B. (2015). The energy cultures framework: Exploring the role of norms, practices and material culture in shaping energy behaviour in New Zealand. Energy Research & Social Science, 7, 117-123. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2015.03.005

Gray, B. J., Duncan, S., Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2014). Encouraging sustainable entrepreneurship in climate-threatened communities: A Samoan case study. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 26(5-6), 401-430. doi: 10.1080/08985626.2014.922622

Walton, S., & Boon, B. (2014). Engaging with a Laclau & Mouffe informed discourse analysis: A proposed framework. Qualitative Research in Organizations & Management, 9(4), 351-370. doi: 10.1108/QROM-10-2012-1106

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2014). How green is green? Ecopreneurs balancing environmental concerns and business goals. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 21(1), 37-51. doi: 10.1080/14486563.2014.880384

Walton, S., & Kirkwood, J. (2013). Tempered radicals! Ecopreneurs as change agents for sustainability: An exploratory study. International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation, 2(5), 461-475. doi: 10.1504/IJSEI.2013.059321

Walton, S., & Rivers, C. (2011). A missed opportunity: Understanding community stakeholders' perspectives. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 18(3), 155-169. doi: 10.1080/14486563.2011.591521

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2010). What motivates ecopreneurs to start businesses? International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 16(3), 204-228. doi: 10.1108/13552551011042799

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2010). How ecopreneurs' green values affect their international engagement in supply chain management. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 8, 200-217. doi: 10.1007/s10843-010-0056-8

Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H. M., & Walton, S. (2009). Words not actions! The ideological role of sustainable development reporting. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22(8), 1211-1257. doi: 10.1108/09513570910999292

Walton, S. (2007). Site the mine in our backyard! Discursive strategies of community stakeholders in an environmental conflict in New Zealand. Organization & Environment, 20(2), 177-203.

Milne, M. J., Kearins, K., & Walton, S. (2006). Creating adventures in Wonderland: The journey metaphor and environmental sustainability. Organization, 13(6), 801-839.

Mallon, M., & Walton, S. (2005). Career and learning: The ins and the outs of it. Personnel Review, 34(4), 468-487.

Walton, S., & Mallon, M. (2004). Redefining the boundaries? Making sense of career in contemporary New Zealand. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42(1), 75-95.

Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H., & Walton, S. (2003). The triple bottom line: Benchmarking New Zealand's early reporters. University of Auckland Business Review, 5(2), 36-48.

Catley, B., Grice, S. W., & Walton, S. C. (2002). Bitter to the loyal end: Notes on resisting left melancholy, after globalisation. Ephemera, 2(3), 246-257.

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Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2008). Seeing the (green) light. NZ Business, 22(10), 41-42.

Walton, S., Grice, S. W., & Catley, B. (2003). The Monteith's affair: Bitter to the loyal end? Journal of the Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management, 9(2), 69-74.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Zhang, J. A., Walton, S., & Kirkwood, J. (2014). Eco-innovativeness and business performance: The moderating effect of environmental orientation. Proceedings of the 28th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference: Reshaping Management for Impact. Retrieved from http://www.anzam.org/

Kirkwood, J., Dwyer, K., & Walton, S. (2014). An ecopreneurs' road to resilience after an earthquake. In B. Kotey (Ed.), Proceedings of the 27th Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand (SEAANZ) Annual Conference. Retrieved from http://seaanz.org/content/27th-annual-seaanz-conference-2014-1

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2012). Green, lean and growing: How ecopreneurs in New Zealand are starting, managing and growing green businesses. Proceedings of the 57th International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Conference: Leading from the Edge. Retrieved from http://www.icsb.org/conferences.asp

Greatbanks, R., & Walton, S. (2009). Mapping environmental performance indicators: A proposed model. Proceedings of the Performance Measurement Association (PMA) Conference. Retrieved from http://www.pma.otago.ac.nz/pma-cd/papers.html

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2009). Ecopreneurs: Are their motivations for starting businesses similar or different to entrepreneurs? Proceedings of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand: Start Small Think Big Conference. [CD-ROM] SEAANZ. [Full Paper]

Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H. M., & Walton, S. C. (2008). Words of action: The centrist and pragmatic discourse of sustainable development reporting. Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://program.aomonline.org/2008/submission.asp?mode=ShowSession&SessionID=1764

Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. (2008). How ecopreneurs' green values affect their international engagement. In B. Gray (Ed.), Proceedings of the 11th McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference. [CD-ROM], (pp. 139-160). Dunedin, New Zealand: School of Business, University of Otago. [Full Paper]

Walton, S. (2007). Where am I located? Being critical and researching organisations and the natural environment. Proceedings of the Organization, Identity, Locality III Symposium. (pp. 64-67). Palmerston North, New Zealand: Department of Management, Massey University. [Full Paper]

Milne, M. J., Kearins, K. N., & Walton, S. (2004). Business makes a 'journey' out of 'sustainability': Creating adventures in wonderland? In L. D. Parker & L. A. Meng (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference. Singapore: APIRA 2004. Retrieved from http://www.accountancy.smu.edu.sg/Apira/Final%20Papers/1091-Milne.pdf

Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H., & Walton, S. (2004). Playing with magic lanterns: The New Zealand business council for sustainable development and corporate triple bottom line reporting. In L. D. Parker & L. A. Meng (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference. Singapore: APIRA 2004. Retrieved from http://www.accountancy.smu.edu.sg/Apira/Final%20Papers/1239-Tregidga.pdf

Walton, S. (2004). Staking a claim: Exploring stakeholder strategies in an environmental conflict. Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management. Dunedin: ANZAM. [Full Paper]

Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H., & Walton, S. (2003). Playing with magic lanterns? The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and corporate triple-bottom line reporting. Proceedings of the 3rd International Critical Management Conference: Critique and inclusivity. [CD-ROM] Lancaster University. [Full Paper]

Walton, S. (2003). To be or not to be? Exploring contestions of how we 'ought to' develop sustainably. Proceedings of the 19th Colloquium of the European Group of Organization Studies: Organization analysis informing social and global development. Copenhagen: EGOS. Retrieved from http://www.egos.cbs.dk/

Ruwhiu, D., Kirkwood, J., & Walton, S. C. (2002). Exploring social capital - A case study of Hubbard's Foods Limited. Research, Knowledge and Practice: Enhancing Business and Government Capability. Proceedings of The Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management [CD ROM]. Beechworth, Australia: Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. [Full Paper]

Mallon, M., & Walton, S. (2001). The ins and the outs of it: Representations of learning on diverse career journeys. The Odyssey of Organising. Proceedings of the 17th Colloquium of the European Group for Organisational Studies. CD ROM. Lyon: E.M. Lyon. [Full Paper]

Walton, S. C. (2000). Reframing career's boundaries: A lesson from the past. Managing For the New Millennium: The Lead Ahead. CD Rom. Sydney, Australia: ANZAM. [Full Paper]

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Walton, S., & Hyde, A. (2016). Destabilisation and decline of existing regimes: The role of entrepreneurs in the NZ transport industry. Proceedings of the 10th Otago Energy Research Centre Symposium & Transport Colloquium. (pp. 14). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/oerc/symposium/index.html

Walton, S., & Carr, S. (2016). Facilitating engagement for deep learning: The role of authenticity and relevance in sustainability education. Proceedings of the 30th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference: Innovating for Sustainable and Just Futures. Retrieved from http://anzam2016.com/

Walton, S. (2016). Energy cultures of SMEs: Understanding energy behaviour. Proceedings of the 30th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference: Innovating for Sustainable and Just Futures. Retrieved from http://anzam2016.com/

Walton, S., Smith, I., Wakes, S., & Bishop, T. (2015). Make a difference? Student responses to changing the standards of rental accommodation in Dunedin. Proceedings of the Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC) Symposium. (pp. 13). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/oerc/

Campbell-Hunt, C., Walton, S., & Hopkins, D. (2013). Bifurcations: Conceptualising change in climate and social systems. Proceedings of the New Zealand Climate Change Conference. Retrieved from http://www.nzcccconference.org/home

Stephenson, J., Ford, R., & Walton, S. (2013). Interdisciplinarity in action: Energy cultures as a concept, a framework, and an organizing principle. Proceedings of the 4th Annual Climate, Mind and Behavior (CMB) Annual Symposium. Retrieved from http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/2013-09-16-15-39-23/cmb-video-presentations/cmb-video-2013

Ford, R., Walton, S., & Gabriel, C.-A. (2012). Lighting Vanuatu through the Energy Cultures lens. Proceedings of the Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC) Symposium. (pp. 8). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/oerc/

Walton, S., & Kirkwood, J. (2011). Ecopreneurs as subjects of environmentalism: A discussion of the phenomena of environmental entrepreneurs. Proceedings of the Samoa Conference II: Tracing Footprints of Tomorrow: Past Lessons, Present Stories, Future Lives. (pp. 30). Retrieved from http://www.nus.edu.ws

Walton, S. (2011). Using discourse theory for empirical research: Piecing together an analytical model. Proceedings of the Samoa Conference II: Tracing Footprints of Tomorrow: Past Lessons, Present Stories, Future Lives. (pp. 22). Retrieved from http://www.nus.edu.ws

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