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Smart metering and Employee Environmental Behaviour- the role of social norms

Bradley, Peter, Fudge, Shane and Leach, Matthew (2018) Smart metering and Employee Environmental Behaviour- the role of social norms In: Research Handbook on Employee Pro-Environmental Behaviour. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978 1 78643 282 7

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Around the world there is strong interest in the use of energy feedback via smart metering technology as an option for businesses to reduce their energy use and mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs). In order to bring about such energy reductions in this way, the feedback provided needs to motivate changes in energy behaviours and practices within organisations. The chapter explores the impact of a real-life smart metering intervention and its impact on the emergence and diffusion of energy-related social norms and the link between these and energy use. The chapter begins by looking at early organisation and energy conservation studies (mainly feedback-based), before moving on to organisational and social norms studies, and concluding with those most relevant to the current chapter. We first briefly define what we mean by social norms. Cialdini et al. (1991) argue that social norms can be defined as either injunctive (characterised by perception of what most people approve or disapprove of) or descriptive (characterised by what most people do). According to this argument, injunctive norms incentivise action by promising social rewards and punishments (informal sanctions) for it (and therefore enjoin behaviour). According to Cialdini et al. (1991) these constitute the moral rules of a group. Descriptive norms on the other hand, inform behaviour, and incentivise action, by providing evidence of what are likely to be effective and adaptive steps to take based on what others do (Cialdini et al. 1991). The ‘focus theory’ of Cialdini et al. (1991) stipulates that this differentiation of social norms is critical to a full understanding of their influence on human behaviour.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
Bradley, Peter
Fudge, Shane
Date : June 2018
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 Edward Elgar Publishing
Additional Information : As the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) grows, especially environmental responsibility, it is imperative to acknowledge the impact of the individual on a company’s environmental performance. Given that individuals spend much of their day in the workplace, it is crucial to understand both their behaviours and the potential impact they can have on the company’s environmental performance and the environment. Bringing together leading academics from various research fields, this Handbook examines the features and challenges within the area of employee pro-environmental behaviour. The Research Handbook on Employee Pro-Environmental Behaviour brings contributions consolidating existing research in the field as well as adds new insights from organisational psychology, human resource management and social marketing. Drawing on studies from across the methodological spectrum, this Handbook covers a broad range of topics from the antecedents and consequences of employee pro-environmental behaviour to ways in which employers can encourage pro-environmental behaviour. This Handbook will be an invaluable tool for those engaged in research in employee environmental behaviour and sustainability. It will be especially useful for postgraduate students of environmental employee behaviour, and will also be of use for environmental consultants and practitioners seeking to gain an understanding of employee behaviour.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 21 Mar 2018 11:05
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:08

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