Robert Girling, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor, Business Administration

(510) 684-9087
  • Stanford University - Ph.D. 
    • Dissertation: "Education, Technology and Development: A Case Study of Agro‑Industry in Jamaica."
    • Fields: Public Finance, Development Economics, Economics of Education, Political Economy.
  • University of Essex (England) - M.A. in Economics
    • Fields: Macro‑economics, Economic Development. Comparative Economic Systems.
  • University of California, Berkeley - B.A. in Economics
Academic Interests
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Benefit Corporations
  • Regional Sustainability
  • I have spent the last decade studying an emerging class of companies, benefit corporations, that measure their outcomes using a triple bottom line--i.e. financial, social and environmental performance. I am also presently researching sustainable development at the regional level looking at the North Bay region to develop guidelines for sustainable communities. This latter stream of research grew out of our Sustainable Enterprise Conference series bringing together business, community, and educational leaders to design a sustainable future.

Robert Girling is Professor Emeritus at Sonoma State University of the California State University System. He received his Ph. D. from Stanford University and has taught and consulted in 20  countries. He has served as a consultant to the Caribbean Development Bank on sustainable development strategies for the island of Dominica and as an organizer of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference Series on the sustainability of businesses and communities. His previous professional experience includes Director of Regional Development for the Government of Jamaica and teaching at the Federal University of Bahia, the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, the University of the West Indies and American University in Washington D.C. He was a faculty member on the University at Sea.  Dr. Girling has consulted with the World Bank, USAID, the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organization, and the International Center for Research on Women. He serves on the boards of several non-governmental organizations. A  Fulbright Senior Scholar (2016-2021),  Dr. Girling is the author of  Multinational Institutions and the Third World (1985); Education; Management and Participation(1990); A Escola Participativa (2006); The Good Company (2012) as well as many articles and monographs. His most recent book The Good Company: Sustainability in Tourism, Wine, and Hospitality was published by Business Expert Press in 2016.

Selected Publications & Presentations
  • Girling, R. (2016). The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism and the Wine Industries. Business Expert Press. 
  • Girling, R. (2012). The Good Company. Hill Press.
  • A Escola Participativa; 10th Edition. Vozes Publishers; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2010
  • Schaefer, R. & Girling, R. (2017). Beyond the conventional business model: Sustainability lessons from Traditional Medicinals®.  Research Journal of WSB University in Poznan/ Poland special Polish-English issue “Knowledge and innovations in the growth of organizations”. 75(4), 119-137.
  • Girling, R. (June 2013) Leading Good Companies. Leadership Excellence. 13(6).
  • Girling, R. (2012). "Global innovators" in SMEs and Open Innovation: Global Cases and Initiatives; Haikikur Rahman and Isabel Ramos eds.; Business Science Reference/IGI Global.
  • Girling, R. (2009). "Teaching green business: How to bring sustainability into a capstone business class” in Management Education for Global Sustainability; Charles Wankel and James A F Stoner eds. Charlotte, N.C. : IAP/ Information Age Pub.


  • Fulbright Specialist (2016-2021)