The role of sustainable human resource practices in influencing employee behavior for corporate sustainability

Published on Dec 1, 2018in Business Strategy and The Environment10.302
· DOI :10.1002/BSE.2064
Chiara Pellegrini3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies),
Francesco Rizzi18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies),
Marco Frey32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)
Sources
Abstract
This article theorizes and empirically tests the relationship between employee perceptions of human resource practices and their propensity to adopt sustainable behavior (SB) to support organizational change for sustainability. Informed by the literature on corporate greening and organizational behaviour, we developed a structural equation model that links frontline employee perceptions of internal sustainability orientation, supervisory support, training and reward systems to their propensity to adopt in‐role and extra‐role SB. Furthermore, we investigated the mediating role of “affective commitment to change” with regard to the relationships between human resource practices and SB. Our results show that when sustainability is valued and promoted by the organization and line managers, employees are more likely to internalize and make sense of sustainability, which is subsequently reflected in a higher commitment to adopt SB. Although we also expected that training and rewards would strengthen commitment and willingness to adopt in‐role and extra‐role SB, rewards appeared to have no effect, and training affected willingness to adopt in‐role sustainable behaviour only when mediated by affective commitment. These results provide scholars of corporate sustainability and managers with evidence‐based insights on how to design HR practices and strategies to enhance employees' commitment and behaviour supporting organizational change for sustainability.
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