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Energy-saving attitudes and behavioural influences in large organisations : the case of Network Rail.

Zierler, Rupert (2018) Energy-saving attitudes and behavioural influences in large organisations : the case of Network Rail. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

Railways in the UK account for 1% of all electricity consumed nationally, and Network Rail consumed in excess of 400GWh in 2013/14. Large organisations need to reduce their energy consumption in order to prevent adverse climatic effects driven by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This doctoral thesis investigates attitudes and behaviours of individual Network Rail employees, relating to the adoption of energy-efficient practices and technologies, and their likely impacts on the organisation’s energy consumption. The research programme consists of two principal stages. Firstly, an exploratory approach is taken with managers of railway energy infrastructure to establish factors which may be influencing these behaviours, based on a commonly-used research framework for semi-structured interviews. Secondly, a staff survey is developed based on findings from the exploratory interviews. This is designed to test commonly-used behavioural frameworks from the sociological and psychological literature on pro-environmental behaviours in a variety of contexts, including the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991), and Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (Triandis, 1977). This survey also tests the salience of a set of barriers to energy efficiency in organisations proposed by Sorrell et al (2000; 2004). However, analysis of collected survey data suggests that no single theory provided a strong fit with observed results. Principal components analysis and structural equation modelling suggest an array of 6 alternative factors governing energy-efficient behaviours, management practices, and technology adoption, and an alternative causal model is proposed, based on these new factors. Cluster analysis then categorises groups of employees based on their personal approaches to energy consumption. Although a combination of technological- and behavioural interventions are required to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC, 2014b), the findings presented here highlight how understanding the attitudinal and behavioural context in which energy consumption behaviours take place can help large organisations such as Network Rail lower their electricity consumption.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Zierler, Rupert
Date : 28 February 2018
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Network Rail
Grant Title : Industrial Doctorate Centre: Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSWehrmeyer, WalterW.Wehrmeyer@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSMurphy, Richardrj.murphy@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/SPNWheeler, Wendiwendi.wheeler@networkrail.co.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/SPNStiles, Andrewandrew.stiles@networkrail.co.uk
Uncontrolled Keywords : Energy behaviour, energy efficiency, theory of planned behaviour, infrastructure management
Depositing User : Rupert Zierler
Date Deposited : 05 Mar 2018 10:01
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2018 10:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/845644

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