A selection of interesting research and articles we found recently.

What shapes voluntary green behaviour in the workplace?
Andrea Kim and associates shed new light on the psychological and social conditions and processes that shape voluntary workplace green behaviour in organizational settings by asking why some employees voluntarily engage in green behaviour at work. The researchers employed a multilevel model of motivation in work groups and a functionalist perspective of citizenship and socially responsible behaviours to help understand voluntary workplace green behaviour. From a sample of 325 office workers organized into 80 work groups in three firms, Kim et al. found that conscientiousness and moral reflectiveness were associated with the voluntary workplace green behaviour of both group leaders and individual group members. Furthermore, they found a direct relationship between leader green behaviour and the green behaviour of individual subordinates, as well as an indirect relationship mediated by green advocacy within work groups. The authors assess the implications for organizations striving to improve their social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

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Andrea Kim, Youngsang Kim, Kyongji Han, Susan E. Jackson, and Robert E. Ployhart (2014). Multilevel Influences on Voluntary Workplace Green Behavior: Individual Differences, Leader Behavior, and Coworker Advocacy.
Journal of Management, September 2, 2014. doi: 0149206314547386.

Do a firm’s motivations predict completeness in environmental management?
Gustavo Lannelongue, Oscar Gonzalez-Benito and Javier Gonzalez-Benito investigated whether a firm’s environmental motivations could predict how complete or incomplete its environmental management would be. For these researchers, incomplete management neglects one or more of three key aspects of such management, namely, monitoring, action and results. The authors predicted that while motivations based on the search for legitimation lead to more incomplete styles of environmental management, competitive motivations entail more complete management. A sample of 1,902 plants provided supporting empirical evidence. The paper introduces a new dimension of environmental management—the degree of completeness, which the authors argue needs to be considered when understanding and evaluating this effect.

Full details are available at: Gustavo Lannelongue, Oscar Gonzalez-Benito and Javier Gonzalez-Benito. Environmental Motivations: The Pathway to Complete Environmental Management.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 124(1), pp. 135-147.

Do stages of consciousness affect environmental leadership in SMEs?
Yes they do, according to Olivier Boiral, Charles Baron and Olen Gunnlaugson, who explored how various stages of consciousness development in top managers influence their abilities in, and commitment to, environmental leadership.  From 63 interviews carried out in 15 industrial SMEs, the researchers concluded that those organisations displaying the most environmental management practices were mostly run by managers at a post-conventional stage of consciousness development. Conversely, SMEs displaying fewer sustainable environmental management practices were all run by managers at conventional stages of development. Drawing upon diverse examples of environmental leadership, this paper analysed the reasons why the stages of post-conventional consciousness development of top managers seem to foster corporate greening in SMEs. The study also sheds light on the key values and abilities associated with both environmental leadership and the upper-stages of consciousness development, which include a broader and systemic perspective, long-range focus, integration of conflicting goals, collaboration with stakeholders, complexity management, collaborative learning, among others.

For more insights, see: Olivier Boiral, Charles Baron and Olen Gunnlaugson. Environmental Leadership and Consciousness Development: A Case Study Among Canadian SMEs.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 123(3), pp. 363-383.


Religion affects corporate environmental responsibility in polluting Industries
Religion affects environmental responsibility in polluting industries, according to recent research by Xingqiang Du, Wei Jian, Quan Zeng and Yingjie Du. The research team investigated Chinese listed firms in polluting industries between 2008–2010 to see whether, and how, China’s most influential religion, Buddhism, affects corporate environmental responsibility (CER). Buddhist variables were measured as the number of Buddhist monasteries within a certain radius around Chinese listed firms’ registered addresses. Corporate environmental disclosure scores were based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines. The authors provide strong evidence that Buddhism is significantly, positively associated with CER. This finding is consistent with the argument that Buddhism can provide social norms to evoke the consciousness of social responsibility, and thus strengthen CER. Notably, the positive association between Buddhism and CER is attenuated for firms with higher law enforcement index.

Full details: Xingqiang Du, Wei Jian, Quan Zeng and Yingjie Du. Corporate Environmental Responsibility in Polluting Industries: Does Religion Matter?
Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 124(3), pp. 485-507.