Deborah Rigling Gallagher

Duke University
Nicholas School of the Environment

Box 90328
Durham, NC

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My research lies at the intersection of business and public policy, specifically in the area of the environment. Past research has examined public-private partnerships to promote firm level environmental stewardship behavior. My research is focused on the exercise of environmental leadership behavior. It also considers the implementation of public-private partnerships in both international governance settings (such as the United Nations Global Compact) and US local settings (urban redevelopment projects). A current project employs participant observation, survey and interview methods to examine leadership behavior of UNGC member companies in advocating for a price for carbon in the build up to COP 21. A second project uses a community-based participatory research tool, Photovoice, to highlight under resourced community members' concerns about environmental injustices dues to urban redevelopment and gentrification in Durham, NC.

Gallagher, Deborah R. 2016. "Climate Change Leadership as Sustainability Leadership: From the C-Suite to the Conference of the Parties." Journal of Leadership Studies.
Abstract: Corporate leaders are increasingly called to enact roles as climate change leaders due to the escalating risks to production and operations from man-made climate change. An examination of corporate leaders’ roles within a United Nations Global Compact initiative, Carbon Pricing Champions, shows that three core practices were critical in advancing climate change leadership efforts: securing and maintaining top leader support, embedding the work within the organizational culture and collaborating with like-minded companies.
McDonald, S. L., and D. Rigling-Gallagher. 2015. “Participant Perceptions of Consensus-Based Marine Mammal Take Reduction Planning." Marine Policy 61:216-226.
Abstract: This study employs Structural Equation Models (SEMs) to systematically analyze the components of a multi-stakeholder negotiation in an applied setting.It characterizes participant perceptions of a multi-stakeholder,consensus-based negotiation process used to reduce harmful interactions between marine mammals and fishing gear in U.S.waters (marine mammal Take Reduction Teams). Results indicate that stakeholder views of fairness significantly influenced their satisfaction with the Take Reduction Plans,which in turn significantly affected their opinions of the outcomes. While the majority of participants believed the plans were at least slightly successful at reducing marine mammal bycatch,this varied among teams and was significantly influenced by stake-holder affiliation, region,and Take Reduction Team age.
Gallagher, Deborah R. 2012. "Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook." SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Abstract: This 2-volume set tackles issues relevant to leadership in the realm of the environment and sustainability. Volume 1 considers environmental thought leadership (environmental ethics, conservation, eco-feminism, collective action and the commons and what we have termed contrarians); political leadership (the environmental challenge context for the expression of political leadership); governmental leadership (government initiatives to provide leadership in environmental management); private sector leadership (private sector leadership in environmental management as individuals, through organizations or through specific initiatives); nonprofit leadership (nonprofit sector leadership in topical areas such as conservation, advocacy, philanthropy and economic development); signaling events (events and their impact on the exercise of environmental leadership through individual, political and organizational actions); grassroots activism (profiles of individual environmental activists and considerations of how environmental leadership is exercised through activism); environmental leadership in journalism, literature and the arts; and environmental leadership in education. Volume 2 confronts the intractable characteristics of environmental problem solving. Chapters focus on how environmental leadership actions or initiatives may be applied to address specific problems in context, offering both analyses and recommendations. Overarching themes include taking action in the face of uncertainty (mitigating climate change impacts, adapting to climate change, protecting coastal ecosystems, protecting wetlands and estuaries, preserving forest resources, protecting critical aquifers, preventing the spread of invasive species, and identifying and conserving vital global habitats); promoting international cooperation in the face of conflicting agendas (designing and implementing climate change policy, reconciling species protection and free trade, allocating scarce resources, designing sustainable fisheries, addressing global overpopulation, preventing trade in endangered species, conserving global biodiversity, and mitigating ocean debris and pollution); addressing conflicts between economic progress and environmental protection (preserving open space, redesigning cities, promoting ecotourism, redeveloping brownfields, designing transit-oriented development, confronting impacts of factory farming, preventing non-point source agricultural pollution, confronting agricultural water use, addressing the impacts of agrochemicals, designing sustainable food systems, and valuing ecosystem services); addressing complex management challenges (energy efficiency, solar energy, wind energy, hydrogen economy, alternative vehicles, solid waste disposal, hazardous waste disposal, electronic waste disposal, life cycle analysis, and waste to energy); and addressing disproportionate impacts on the poor and the weak (preventing export of developed world waste to developing countries, minimizing co-location of poverty and polluting industries, protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, preventing environmental disease, protecting children's health, providing universal access to potable water, and protecting environmental refugees). The final three chapters examine next-generation environmental leaders.
Gallagher, Deborah Rigling. 2013 "The United Nations Global Compact: Forum for Environmental Leadership." In The UN Millennium Development Goals, The Global Compact and the Common Good, ed. Oliver Williams. South Bend: Notre Dame University Press.
Abstract: This study examines how participation in a recently initiated United Nations Global Compact environmental partnership project leveraged organizational leadership behavior to influence the creation of behavioral norms which incorporate high level environmental stewardship practices. Building on the Compact?s CEO Water Mandate and the Caring for Climate leadership initiatives, the project was designed to promote a model for strategic environmental stewardship. The partnership project focused on explicating and sharing innovative corporate environmental policies and programs to address environmental issues such as climate change, water, energy and ecosystems throughout organizational value chains. Interview and survey data from participant firms were analyzed to identify key challenges faced and strategies employed by participants and to assess how the Compact's partnership, dialogue and learning tools were used to leverage front runner behavior and disseminate identified strategies to a wide range of stakeholders.
Gallagher, Deborah Rigling, and Erika Weinthal. 2011. “Business-State Relations and the Environment: The Evolving Role of Corporate Social Responsibility.” In Comparative Environmental Politics, eds. Paul Steinberg and Stacy VanDeveer. Boston, MIT Press.
Abstract: This chapter explores the potential for comparative research to shed light on the greening of corporations, and examining the multitude of influences shaping the adoption of strategic corporate environmental management practices in both developed and developing countries and across different sectors of the economy. The chapter proceeds as follow. First, we turn to the literature on interest groups to provide the historical context for explaining how business-state relations have traditionally been studied in the field of comparative politics. Next we describe the domestic origins of CSR in advanced industrialized countries. We argue that while firms in developed economies continue to participate in the longstanding command-and-control regulatory framework, and remain motivated by existing and pending regulations, they increasingly seek to fulfill social demands for environmental stewardship by participating in voluntary programs that promote beyond-compliance behavior and burnish reputational assets. We then explain the domestic origins of CSR in a small number of developing countries, where environmental governance structures are comparatively weak and environmental regulations are few, albeit not entirely absent.

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Urban Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY