Sustainability in the workplace and the theory of planned behaviour: Norms and identity predict environmentally friendly intentions

Conference paper


Nigbur, D., Fernandez, A., Coen, S., Franz, A. and Hocking, I. 2020. Sustainability in the workplace and the theory of planned behaviour: Norms and identity predict environmentally friendly intentions.
AuthorsNigbur, D., Fernandez, A., Coen, S., Franz, A. and Hocking, I.
TypeConference paper
Description

Social psychology offers an insightful perspective on the psychological processes underlying sustainability-related intentions and actions, at universities and elsewhere. Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is a well-supported model, positing that attitudes alone will rarely predict intentions and behaviour accurately. Rather, individuals are sensitive to social norms (the perceived requirements of a setting and/or a group to which the actor belongs) and perceived control (the sense that the actor is capable of the behaviour and the environment offers the opportunity). Recently, it has been suggested to include self-identity (the notion that the behaviour is part of who you are). This paper summarises previous research linking the TPB to sustainability, and then reports a quantitative survey of 130 staff members at Canterbury Christ Church University. An online questionnaire measured attitudes, social norms, perceived control, self-identity, and intentions relating to office waste recycling, energy saving, and transport choice. Overall, only self-identity and norms reliably predicted intentions to act in environmentally sustainable ways. Follow-up analyses suggest that different predictors were significant for different intentions, but self-identity always improved prediction over and above the original TPB variables. In conclusion, universities can best cultivate sustainability intentions by promoting favourable norms and self-identities.

KeywordsSustainability; Theory of planned behaviour; Self-identity; University; Workplace
Year2020
ConferenceSustainability in Higher Education: The fierce urgency of now
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Deposited03 Jun 2020
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