Greening Organizations & Work (GROW) Network

Click the logo to view the WUN GROW webpage

Project dates: September 2010 – Present                                                                     Funded by: World Universities Network (WUN) and the University of Leeds                         Organizations involved: 24H Architects (the Netherlands), Amey (UK), Arup (UK), Griffith University (Australia), Mater Hospital (Australia), Murdoch University (Australia), Nanjing University (China), Queen’s University (Canada), the University of Fortaleza (Brazil), the University of Leeds (UK), Rio Tinto (Australia), the University of Southampton (UK), Stenum (Austria), Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), the University of Western Australia (Australia)

 

The GROW Vision

We are an international network of leading universities and businesses creating new knowledge and practical insights to support organizations, and their people, in promoting environmentally sustainable behaviours.

Encouraging individuals to engage in environmentally sustainable behaviours attracts an ever-increasing level of media, public, policy and research interest. The GROW network explores how we can encourage individual employees to act in more sustainable ways at work (often where there is little obvious direct benefit to the employee).  This network brings a multi-disciplinary and international lens to the problem – drawing together academics, industrialists and policy-makers interested in this issue.

Objectives:

The network sets out to try to offer suggestions as to how employees can be encouraged to act in more sustainable ways.  Complex problems are often an inter-related mix of behavioural, technological, organizational and societal factors and this is a prime example.  The GROW network aims to build collaboration across social and organizational psychology, management, engineering, architecture and environmental science disciplines, to develop truly integrated responses.  The network will also be actively seeking contributions and challenges from policy-makers and the industrial sector.

The network is keen to establish research relationships and projects with organizations interested in encouraging environmentally sustainable work behaviours. The network is keen to establish research relationships and projects with organizations interested in encouraging environmentally sustainable work behaviours. Collaborative projects provide an opportunity for members of the network to work together to apply their knowledge and experience. This can result in valuable advice for organizations developing environmental or employee engagement programmes and provide useful case studies for the network.

The specific research aims include:

  • Establish an international network of inter-disciplinary scholars focused on green behaviours at work.
  • Use the network to identify research opportunities and initiate externally funded projects.
  • Develop and exploit thought-leadership.
  • Develop and sustain a critical mass of research in this area.

To find out more about the World Universities Network and further background to this network, please click here.

 

The Network:

The GROW network is coordinated by the Socio-Technical Centre and received original funding by the Worldwide Universities Network, the University of Leeds and University of Western Australia.

GROW is made up of a core of academics from: Griffith University (Australia), Murdoch University (Australia), Nanjing University (China), Queen’s University (Canada), the University of Fortaleza (Brazil), the University of Leeds (UK), the University of Southampton (UK), the Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), the University of Western Australia (Australia).

The network has engaged with a range of companies from around the world, including:

24H Architects (the Netherlands), Amey (UK), Arup (UK), COELCE (Brazil),Department for Communities and Local Government (UK), Federation of Industries of the State of Ceará (Brazil), Leesman (UK), Mater Hospital (Australia), Network Rail (UK), NHS Sustainable Development Unit (UK), Rio Tinto (Australia), Stenum (Austria).

The project centres on building relationships and knowledge sharing amongst international academics, industrialists and policy-makers.  The network began with a series of meetings and industrial forums to identify: what we already know; what major gaps exist in our knowledge; and what research opportunities and priorities exist and how they will be funded.

The second phase of the project revolves around: building opportunities for staff and student exchanges between universities and organizations; creating new research projects and collaborations; developing research funding bids; organising and delivering professional and academic workshops and events; making videos available showcasing GROW thinking; publishing high quality academic and practitioner papers.

We engage in a range of activities to build relationships and knowledge within the network. This includes physical meetings, virtual conferencing, industrial and academic forums, conference events, researcher visits and exchanges. We are also keen to establish research projects, working in partnership with organizations interested in promoting environmentally sustainable work behaviours.

Upcoming Activities:

University of Leeds – University of Western Australia researcher visit – July 2013 – Perth Australia

Dr Matthew Davis is due to visit colleagues at the University of Western Australia in June 2013. Matthew will be working on a collaborative paper and project during his time in Perth. Matthew will also be following up on discussions held during Prof. Kerrie Unsworth’s visit to Leeds to help establish deeper links between the two Universities.

Symposium at Australian Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference – July 2013 – Perth, Australia

GROW is contributing to an international symposium organized for the Australian Psychological Society’s 10th Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference to be held in Perth Australia. We will be presenting research that has evaluated the effectiveness of different types of behaviour change initiatives. The symposium will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the key challenges to engaging employees in environmentally sustainable behaviour.

Event at the US Academy of Management – August 2013 – Orlando, USA

GROW has had a professional development workshop (PDW) accepted for the prestigious US Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Meeting, to be held in Orlando in August 2013. The AoM annual meeting is the world's leading management conference. The PDW builds on the successful workshop we ran at the previous year’s meeting. This time we will be using case studies to explore new ways of designing environmental sustainability behaviour change initiatives. We hope to produce new materials for teaching the consultants of tomorrow to work in this area and to assemble a tool kit of techniques that we can use in future workplace interventions. The PDW involves colleagues from across the GROW network.

Previous Activities and Meetings:

Inaugural Meeting & Industrial Forum – January 2011 – Leeds, United Kingdom

The academic days were held on the 12th and 13th January, with the industrial forum held on the 14th January. All were at Weetwood Hall in Leeds. Paper discussions, industrial presentations and a lively forum discussed the design of behavioural interventions and opportunities for supporting behaviour change across a range of public and private sector organizations.

Second Meeting & Industrial Forum – May 2011 – Perth, Australia

The two academic days were held on the 9th and 11th May at the University of Western Australia, with the Industry day held at the Terrace Lounge, Perth on the 10th May. Discussion centred around key challenges facing mining, healthcare and public services seeking to engage in environmental behaviour change.

Third Meeting & Industrial Forum – December 2011 – Delft, Netherlands

The academic and industrial forums were held over the 29th November – 2nd December at TU Delft in the Netherlands. A mix of academic and industrial presentations explored the role of physical buildings, infrastructure and technologies in helping organizations reduce their environmental impact.

Griffith University – University of Leeds researcher visit – July 2012 – Leeds, UK

Dr Sally Russell <link to Sally’s STC page> joined the Socio-Technical Centre at the University of Leeds as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow for a month in July 2012. Sally worked with a number of colleagues at Leeds on collaborative papers and projects, delivered teaching and prepared sessions for the Academy of Management conference.

Public lecture and discussion – July 2012 – Leeds, UK.

Dr Sally Russell delivered a public lecture on the “Key drivers of pro-environmental behaviour in the workplace” at Leeds University Business School on 11th July 2012. This was followed by an interactive discussion regarding the potential role of psychological and management techniques to aid pro-environmental behaviour in the workplace. The event was well attended by both students, staff from across the University, practitioners and managers from the wider business and psychology community. Both the lecture and discussion are available to watch online.

Events at the US Academy of Management – August 2012 – Boston, USA

GROW organized two events at the prestigious US Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Meeting, held in Boston in August 2012. The AoM annual meeting is the world's leading management conference. We delivered a Professional Development Workshop (PDW) and academic symposium. The innovative PDW explored the potential for the physical work environment to be used as part of successful environmental sustainability behaviour change initiatives. The PDW involved colleagues from across the GROW network. The symposium explored the design of environmental sustainability interventions. Both events were very well received and attended, helping to engage new colleagues from around the world with the GROW project and approach.

University of Western Australia – University of Leeds researcher visit – November 2012 – Leeds, UK

Professor Kerrie Unsworth joined the Socio-Technical Centre at the University of Leeds as a Visiting Professor in November 2012. Kerrie worked with a number of colleagues from across the University on collaborative papers and projects. During her visit Kerrie also worked with colleagues at Leeds to explore how wider links between the two Universities could be developed, hopefully facilitating future PhD and research exchanges.

Public lecture and discussion – November 2012 – Leeds, UK.

Prof. Kerrie Unsworth delivered a public lecture on the “Going Green: The Role of Goals” at Leeds University Business School on 13th November 2012. This was followed by an interactive discussion regarding the potential for a greater understanding of employee goals, goal conflicts and identities to help organizations encourage pro-environmental behaviour in the workplace. The event was followed by a networking buffet.

 

British Psychological Society Going Green Workshop – November 2012 – London, UK

STC's Dr Matthew Davis and Phillipa Coan ran a workshop at the British Psychological Society's (BPS) Division of Occupational Psychology Going Green Conference on Thursday 8th November 2012. The workshop showcased socio-technical thinking and used a case study to demonstrate the need to join up the design of workplace environmental initiatives.

 

Organizational Impact

One of the explicit aims of the GROW network is to generate inter-disciplinary and fresh thinking to help organizations and policy-makers to promote sustainable working practices and behaviours.

We have run a number of successful workshops at academic and practitioner events that have focused on the design of workplace environmental initiatives, using a systems framework. We are also actively working with industrial partners to evaluate and inform the design of employee environmental initiatives.

Please check back during the course of the project to find out more about how we’re putting this into practice….

 

Results and Dissemination

Academic Publications

 

 

Davis, M. C., Challenger, R., Jayewardene, D., & Clegg, C. W. (2013, In Press). Advancing socio-technical systems thinking: A call for bravery. Applied Ergonomics. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.02.009

 

Unsworth, K. L., Dmitrieva, A., & Adriasola, E. (2012). Changing behaviour: Increasing the effectiveness of workplace interventions in creating pro-environmental behaviour change. Journal of Organizational Behavior. doi: 10.1002/job.1837

Davis, M. C., & Challenger, R. (In press, 2012). Environmentally sustainable work behaviors. In P. C. Flood & Y. Freeney (Eds.), Wiley Encyclopedia of Management: Organizational Behavior (3rd ed., Vol. 11).

Davis, M. C., Leach, D. J., & Clegg, C. W. (2011). The Physical Environment of the Office: Contemporary and Emerging Issues. In G. P. Hodgkinson & J. K. Ford (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Vol. 26, pp. 193 - 235). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Russell, S.V., & McIntosh, M. (2011). Organizational Change for Sustainability. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. M. Wilderom & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational Culture & Climate 2nd ed. (pp. 393-411). Los Angeles: Sage.

Davis, M. C., Leach, D. J., & Clegg, C. W. (2011). The Physical Environment of the Office: Contemporary and Emerging Issues. In G. P. Hodgkinson & J. K. Ford (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Vol. 26, pp. 193 - 235). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Russell, S.V., & McIntosh, M. (2011). Organizational Change for Sustainability. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. M. Wilderom & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational Culture & Climate 2nd ed. (pp. 393-411). Los Angeles: Sage.

Academic and Professional Workshops and Presentations:

Russell, S.V., & Davis, M.C. (2013). Joining the dots: Developing a systems approach to workplace proenvironmental behavior interventions. Professional Development Workshop organized for the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida.

Russell, S.V., & Norton, T. (2013). Psychological perspectives on workplace proenvironmental behaviour. Symposium organized for the 10th Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Perth, Australia.

Davis, M. C., & Galvan, J.J. (2013). Driving green behavior: Goal-setting and feedback as predictors of pro-environmental behavior and performance in an organizational environmental initiative at an auto manufacturing plant. Paper to be presented at the 10th Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Perth, Australia.

Walton, A., & Russell, S.V. (2013). Across the Divide: Examining proenvironmental behaviour at work and at home. Paper to be presented at the 10th Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Perth, Australia.

Russell, S.V., Evans, A., &  Fielding, K. (2013). Climate Change Appraisals: Examining the effect of emotion on adaptation and mitigation in the workplace. Paper to be presented at the 10th Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Perth, Australia.

Davis, M.C., Challenger, R., Russell, S.V., & Unsworth, K.L. (2012). A Passion for Sustainability: Corporate Sustainability Auditing & Workplace Interventions. Professional Development Workshop organized for the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Davis, M. C., Challenger, R., & Russell, S. V. (2012). Green Pursuits: Design of workplace environmental sustainability interventions. Symposium organized for the 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Davis, M. C., & Challenger, R. (2012). A socio-technical approach to sustainable intervention design. Paper presented at the 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

R., Russell, S.V., Fielding, K., Evans, A., & Hill, C. (2012). “Turn it off”: An intervention study to reduce workplace electricity use. Paper presented at the 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Heath, J., & McNeill, I. (2012). Growing greens: The impact of goal-systems on intervention effectiveness in the agricultural sector. Paper presented at the 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Russell, S.V. (2012). Key drivers of pro-environmental behaviour in the workplace. Presentation for Socio-Technical Centre Seminar Series, 11th July 2012, Leeds University Business School, UK.

Academy of Management 2012 Workplace Interventions PDW

We have gathered together a number of videos recorded by members of the GROW network that showcase some of our ideas and thinking. We will be gradually adding more content over the coming months. Audio and text summaries of previous meetings are also available at the bottom of this page.

 

AoM 2012 Workplace Interventions

Automotive Case Study

Hospital Case Study

Mining and Sustainability

We have gathered together a number of videos recorded by members of the GROW network that showcase some of our ideas and thinking. We will be gradually adding more content over the coming months. Audio and text summaries of previous meetings are also available at the bottom of this page.

GROW Videos

Meeting Summaries and Slides

Useful documents and files will be made available for download for GROW members from this page.

The Network:

The GROW network is coordinated by the Socio-Technical Centre and received initial funding from the Worldwide Universities Network, the University of Leeds and University of Western Australia.

GROW is made up of a core of academics from: Griffith University (Australia), Murdoch University (Australia), Nanjing University (China), Queen’s University (Canada), the University of Fortaleza (Brazil), the University of Leeds (UK), the University of Southampton (UK), the Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), the University of Western Australia (Australia).

The network has engaged with a range of companies from around the world, including:

24H Architects (the Netherlands), Amey (UK), Arup (UK), COELCE (Brazil), Department for Communities and Local Government (UK), Federation of Industries of the State of Ceará (Brazil), Leesman (UK), Mater Hospital (Australia), Network Rail (UK), NHS Sustainable Development Unit (UK), Rio Tinto (Australia), Stenum (Austria).

The network has engaged with a range of companies from around the world, including:

24H Architects (Netherlands), Amey (UK), Arup (UK), COELCE (Brazil), Department for Communities and Local Government (UK), Federation of INdustries of the State of Ceara (Brazil), Leesman (UK), Mater Hospital (Australia), Network Rail (UK), NHS Sustainable Development Unit (UK), Rio Tinto (Australia), Stenum (Austria).  

Connect with GROW

We are keen to connect with like-minded individuals and groups who are interested in promoting more sustainable work behaviours.  Please get in touch if you feel you could enhance our network – whether it be as an academic, practitioner, policy-maker or organization (click here to send an email).