Research Handbook on Employee Pro-Environmental Behaviour
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Research Handbook on Employee Pro-Environmental Behaviour

Edited by Victoria Wells, Diana Gregory-Smith and Danae Manika

This Research Handbook brings together leading academics of employee pro-environmental behaviour to highlight the key features and challenges of this growing field. The international contributors draw on studies from across the methodological spectrum, examine employee behaviour and discuss how pro-environmental behaviour can be fostered and encouraged, inspecting the impact for organisations.
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Chapter 6: Environmental considerations as a basis for employee pro-environmental behaviour

Angela Ruepert and Linda Steg


Organisations are increasingly recognising that environmental problems will reduce if their employees act more pro-environmentally. However, pro-environmental behaviour (at home or at work) generally implies a conflict between immediate gratifications or financial gains and long-term benefits for the environment. Yet, despite this, people are motivated to act pro-environmentally when they are focused on benefiting the environment. In this chapter, we discuss a conceptual framework to understand, predict and promote pro-environmental behaviour at work. We identify two main factors affecting pro-environmental actions: the values people endorse and contextual factors. We propose that people are more likely to act pro-environmentally at work when they strongly endorse biospheric values. Biospheric values influence behaviour by strengthening the environmental self-identity and personal norms to act pro-environmentally at work. Yet, contextual factors can prevent (or promote) people acting upon their personal norms. Contextual factors may not only inhibit or enable pro-environmental behaviour at work, but they can also affect the extent to which people focus on benefiting the environment, which affects pro-environmental actions. People are more likely to act pro-environmentally when the context makes them focus on the environment, even more so when people have relatively weak biospheric values.

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