Green human resource management, green culture and green behaviours


Can organisations influence the amount of green behaviours of employees by setting green goals for them? Through integrating into appraisal system the amount employee pushes for green ideas and behaves environmentally sustainably, can organisations influence the way their workforce acts?

The study

This study by Dumont et al. (2017) looked at the effect of ‘green’ human resource management (GHRM) on employee green behaviour at work, both within their role and outside of their role. Human resource management influences organisational performance through its effect on employee work attitudes and behaviour, if this is focused on being ‘green’ then we can infer that it will affect green performance, attitudes and behaviours. They also used a green psychological climate (see Norton’s study) to see if this mediated the relationship.

What did they find?

They found that GHRM affects in role green behaviour (r=0.32) and that GHRM also affect green psychological climate (r=0.37), these are reasonably strong relationships. Green psychological climate affected in-role behaviours (r=0.24) also.

Interestingly they found the GHRM does not affect extra-role behaviours, but a green psychological climate has a strong effect (r=0.48). They also found that individuals green values has an interactive effect, where the higher the individuals green values, the more strongly they are effect by the green psychological climate.

What does this mean?

Their findings show that GHRM is a motivator for employees to act in more green ways when they work. This isn’t that surprising as GHRM basically means that the organisation encourages employees to be more green and uses reward mechanisms such-as goals, training, green appraisals etc.

What is more interesting is that a green psychological climate (a green culture) is a strong predictor of extra role behaviours. This means that employees who perceive their organisation to have a green culture are much more likely to behave in green ways that are not asked for by the organisation. They voluntarily and spontaneously act more environmentally friendly at work as it appears that is the norm of the organisation. They also found that the GHRM does also lead to employees thinking their organisation cares about environmental sustainability, and leads them to think that the organisation has a green culture.

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