Individual antecedents of pro-environmental behaviors: Implications for employee green behaviors

Wiernik, B. M., Ones, D. S., Dilchert, S., & Klein, R. M.
In V. K. Wells, D. Gregory-Smith, & D. Manika (Eds.),
Research handbook on employee pro-environmental behaviour (pp. 63–82).
Edward Elgar.

Environmental degradation is ultimately driven by harmful actions performed by individuals (Stern 2000). Achieving environmental sustainability thus requires changing individuals’ behaviour to be more environmentally responsible (Maloney and Ward 1973). As organisations aim to improve their institutional environmental performance, they must improve the individual environmental performance of each of their employees. Effective management of employee environmental performance, however, requires understanding why employees perform positive and negative green behaviours and how these drivers can be leveraged most effectively using human resource management (HRM) tools. In this chapter, we review research on the individual-level factors that promote and inhibit environmentally relevant employee behaviours. We examine research on knowledge-based and attitudinal drivers of pro-environmental behaviours, as well as the influence of demographic characteristics and stable psychological individual differences. Finally, w discuss research on the effectiveness of alternative types of behavioural interventions aimed at improving individuals’ contributions to environmental sustainability and how organisations can leverage individual antecedents to enhance employee green performance.