Edited by Victoria Wells, Diana Gregory-Smith and Danae Manika
Peter Bradley, Shane Fudge and Matthew Leach
This study presents results from a smart metering intervention that provided detailed individual desk-based energy feedback to help individuals reduce energy in an organisation. Although the intervention was based on the study of individuals, this chapter explores how the technology was socialised, and how it was set to explore changes in normative influence (descriptive and injunctive norms) around specific energy services, before and after the intervention. Results from the study identify that social norms around certain energy services changed as a result of the intervention, and the level of descriptive norms was found to have a direct effect on energy efficiency of participants. Interviews were carried out during the study and provided insight on social construction and social comparison processes occurring during the intervention, as these are key to understanding the emergence and diffusion of social norms. Strong interaction between technologies/technology policy and social context was found.
Amelie V. Güntner, Florian E. Klonek and Simone Kauffeld
This chapter addresses the challenge of motivating employees regarding energy conservation, by providing a socio-motivational and micro-interactional perspective on energy conservations in the workplace. Building on change management research, we highlight the socio-relational and motivational dynamics between energy managers and employees in conversations about energy-related behaviour change. Further, we introduce Motivational Interviewing (MI) as a socio-relational approach that offers potential to help energy managers in discussing energy savings with employees. In this regard, we outline how introductory training in MI for energy managers can be designed, can provide detailed information on procedures, and present methodological approaches to evaluate these types of interventions. Finally, we provide a detailed analysis of conversational dynamics between an energy manager and an employee who we evaluated as part of a training evaluation study.
Caroline Verfuerth and Diana Gregory-Smith
This chapter discusses the concept of ‘spillover’ and its various conceptualisations in pro-environmental behaviour research. It provides an overview of the current spillover literature and its relevance to environmentally friendly behaviours and the workplace. Different methodological approaches (quantitative, qualitative and mixed) used in past studies that investigated spillover effects, both between behaviours and between settings, are critically discussed. The chapter also considers the implications of both positive and negative spillover effects for social marketing campaigns and behaviour change programmes that promote pro-environmental behaviours in organisations.
Thomas A. Norton, Stacey L. Parker, Matthew C. Davis, Sally V. Russell and Neal M. Ashkanasy
Stakeholders increasingly evaluate contemporary organisations on their environmental performance. Consequently, pro-environmental or “green” behaviour and its drivers are becoming an important aspect of workplace behaviour. In this regard, we outline how organisations can encourage their employees to be green at work. Importantly, we note that individual green behaviour contributes to system-level environmental performance. Thus, we consider an organisation as a complex adaptive system wherein employees create a workplace environment that subsequently influences their activity at work. We describe this as a virtuous cycle where employee green behaviour builds a green organisational culture, which then encourages more green behaviour. By helping employees modify the local rules guiding behaviour to include EGB, organisations might be able to enhance the effectiveness of their formal structures and develop a positive culture towards environmental sustainability. To this end, we provide recommendations for practitioners in this area.
Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu
It stands to reason that appraisers set to observe and evaluate employees using performance appraisal techniques will improve their performance through adequate and appropriate training. The challenges, however, we recall, include overcoming rater errors, feelings of discomfort with performance appraisal (PA), and the possibility of biases entering into the evaluation process due to preconceived perceptions and personal (political) agendas. Notably, the assumption underlying the training is that there is real transferability from the training class to the real situation at the organization. Moreover, if given a clear idea of what the performance dimensions mean and what different performance levels look like, raters will be more likely to show (more) agreement in their evaluations. In this chapter then, in addition to discussing these basic assumptions, we introduce the concept of frame-of-reference training (see also Chapter 13), designed basically to ensure that raters adopt a common frame of reference regarding target performance dimensions and performance levels. Additionally, we take a look at raters’ motivations as a source of rater error. Despite cynicism regarding the efficacy of training and the relative dearth of research, Tziner (2002) among others, upholds its virtues. To this end, the chapter includes a discussion of the content and methodology of training programs, a sample of a successful training model, and a brief review of current trends in rater training programs.
Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu
Having largely discussed the classical methods of performance appraisal systems (PASs) and ways in which they should be approached in order to achieve the highest levels of efficacy, we now turn to alternative approaches to performance appraisal that may replace or complement the relatively long-standing procedures or at least compensate for some of the various criticisms directed at these traditional performance appraisal formats and methods. In this chapter, we begin to introduce several of these objections in a systematic fashion and present the reader with a brief catalogue of some of the more widely employed alternatives to performance appraisal (PA) that have found their way into organizations in the current marketplace. Many of these alternative strategies (including performance management strategies) reflect the changing circumstances in the workplace and in technology and are geared to creating a more democratic climate of change than was apparent in previous years. In taking a brief look at some of these alternative methodologies we widen the scope of our overall discussion. In doing so, we distinguish globally between those approaches that focus on company goals, strategy, and bottom-line productivity that tend to match performance against set targets versus appraisal methods based on the view that, in a changing business world, employee appraisal must be immediate, ongoing and looking to the future, rather than inducing workers to be accountable for the past. We also examine approaches to performance appraisal that employ various, alternative sources of observation, including self-appraisal, peers, and subordinates, procedures that certainly help to overcome rater bias, if not intrinsically raising new challenges. Further we elaborate on the use of technology (a subject also treated in Chapter 7) – computerization, automation, media, and simulations – and assessment centers as tools that are increasingly helpful in tracking employee performance in situations where this may have been difficult in the past. And, last, we turn to performance management (PM), both as the emerging global approach to enhancing effectiveness and productivity in the workplace and by way of introduction to emerging theory and research in what has been described as firm-level performance (DeNisi and Smith, 2014).
Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu
In the previous chapter, we began to address ‘alternative’ means of performance evaluation and performance management. In this chapter, we anchor those descriptions into the context of current corporate realities and begin to consider the ramifications. This takes the shape of a debate about the future of performance appraisal that has heated up to major proportions in the last few years. We follow the major arguments of those in favor of abolishing traditional rating scales altogether – or at least minimizing their use or ‘bundling’ them with other evaluation (or performance management) techniques – versus those in favor of maintaining their use, improving their efficacy, and applying the scales in a more communicative, flexible, fair, and trusting corporate environment. The discussions are garnered from the Cappelli and Tavis in the Harvard Business Review (2016).
Niamh Murtagh, Birgitta Gatersleben and David Uzzell
Energy consumption in offices is particularly important amongst the environmentally impacting activities of office workers. Almost 70 per cent of this consumption is electricity, with information and computing technologies amongst the highest uses. In this chapter, we explore the question of whether individual energy feedback can influence behaviour. Research evidence on feedback in the home is reviewed but despite extensive research, the mix of approaches, small sample sizes and absence of control groups, baseline usage and inferential statistical analysis pose a challenge to conclusive findings – published studies report wide variation. In the workplace, approaches, interventions and outcomes have also been varied. A common conclusion of such studies is that interventions in the workplace can contribute to behaviour change and reduction in energy consumption and, in particular, that feedback can be an effective component of intervention. However, the chapter concludes that, despite a rapidly growing empirical base, definitive findings from the workplace remain elusive. The psychological mechanisms by which feedback may work are still unknown. Information deficit alone is insufficient as an explanation. The most promising constructs to explore further are motivation and meaning, awareness (even though we know that raised awareness in itself does not necessarily result in changed behaviour) and self-efficacy. Behaviour change requires motivation beyond the provision of information. Furthermore, the time for feedback aimed simply at energy reduction is gone. As economies shift towards lower carbon, the issue is no longer one of less energy use but shifting energy use to renewable sources alongside reducing waste. Energy at work is consumed in a collective endeavour and workers should be involved in energy-saving strategies.