The theory of planned behaviour, self-identity, and moral disengagement: what predicts sustainability at work?

Nigbur, D., Coen, S., Fernandez, A., Franz, A. and Hocking, I. (2012) The theory of planned behaviour, self-identity, and moral disengagement: what predicts sustainability at work? In: BPS Social Psychology Section conference, 21-23 August 2012, University of St Andrews.

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Objectives: On the occasion of the Green Impact sustainability initiative at our university, we sought to identify predictors of sustainability-related behaviours (recycling, energy saving and sustainable transport choices) among staff.

Design: A quantitative on-line survey was conducted among university staff. In line with the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), we measured intentions (to recycle, to save energy, and to choose sustainable transport), attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived control. Self-identity was added as a popular extension to the TPB. Additionally, we took one of the first measurements of moral disengagement in a sustainability-related study.

Methods: All staff participating in the initiative were contacted, 130 responses were received. Correlational methods were used to analyse the survey data.

Results: The TPB was broadly supported; however, perceived control was not significant in predicting recycling intentions, subjective norm did not contribute to the prediction of energy saving intentions, and attitude did not predict transport intentions. Self-identity, conversely, made a substantial additional contribution for all target behaviours. The moral disengagement measures were all correlated with sustainability intentions, but there were multicollinearity issues with the TPB variables and between sub-scales.

Conclusions: The TPB is useful in predicting workplace sustainability intentions, but different predictors apply to different behaviours. Moral disengagement is another useful explanatory concept, but difficult to incorporate in the TPB. The consistently significant contribution of self-identity suggests that sustainability at work can be promoted by making staff feel like sustainability champions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Social Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Dennis Nigbur
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2012 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:10

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00