Motivating employees towards sustainable behaviour

Elisha Temminck, Kathryn Mearns, Laura Fruhen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Workers engaging in voluntary and unrewarded environmental actions that go above and beyond one’s job requirements in an organisational setting can crucially contribute to a reduced environmental impact of organisations. This research investigates some of the factors that may contribute to the emergence of such organisational citizenship behaviour directed towards the environment (OCBE). The hypotheses predicted employees concern for the environment, employees’ perceived organisational support for environmental efforts and organisational commitment as antecedents of OCBE. Employees from two organisations (n=547) completed an online survey. Controlling for organisational tenure, a significant relationship between (a) employees concern for their environment and OCBE; (b) perceived organisational support for environment efforts and OCBE and (c) organisational commitment and OCBE were found. Furthermore, organisational commitment mediated the relationship between perceived organisational support for environmental efforts and OCBE, but not environmental concern. This study’s insights into the factors that can drive employees’ engagement in small, voluntary environmental actions at work can guide organisations wishing to encourage such behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number6
Early online date21 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • sustainability in organizations
  • environmental citizenship behaviour
  • environmental management
  • pro-environmental behaviour


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