ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B
主办:中国心理学会
   中国科学院心理研究所
出版:科学出版社

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (9): 1105-1120.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01105

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How to facilitate employee green behavior: The joint role of green transformational leadership and green human resource management practice

PENG Jian1, YIN Kui2(), HOU Nan3, ZOU Yanchun1(), NIE Qi4   

  1. 1School of Management, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
    3Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    4School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 211106, China
  • Received:2018-08-25 Online:2020-09-25 Published:2020-07-24
  • Contact: YIN Kui,ZOU Yanchun E-mail:bluesky7198@163.com;gzhuzyc@163.com

Abstract:

Faced with the critical environmental pollution, organizations are expected to plan and implement the environmental management practice. Employees, as the implementers of environmental management practice, have been considered to play a crucial role in organizational green management. Hence, how to facilitate employees’ green behavior is of particular importance for contemporary organizations. Employee green behavior is defined as a kind of behavior in the workplace that contributes to environmental sustainability. Given that employee green behavior is relevant to the sustainable development of the organization, this topic increasingly attracts attention and interest from scholars and practitioners alike. In particular, they focused on how to facilitate employee green behavior.

Previous research revealed that green (environmentally specific) transformational leadership and green human resource management practices (HRM) played a crucial role in shaping employee green behavior. However, previous studies took an “either…or…” approach to investigate the effects of green transformational leadership and green HRM (separately), while ignoring their joint effects. Recent studies indicated a trend to examine the joint effects of leadership and HRM. Accordingly, this study explored the joint effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior in the Chinese context. In particular, we proposed two alternative hypotheses. Based on cue consistency theory, we claimed that green transformational leadership and green HRM positively interact to shape employee green behavior. Based on leadership substitute theory, we demonstrated that green transformational leadership and green HRM negatively interact to shape employee green behavior. Moreover, we proposed that pro-environmental goal clarity mediates the interactive effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior.

We conducted two experiments and one survey study to test our hypotheses. In experiment 1a and 1b (2 × 2 between-subject design), the results of ANOVA showed that green transformational leadership and green HRM positively interacted to shape individual green behavior, which supported the hypotheses based on cue consistence theory. Specifically, individuals in the condition of high green transformational leadership and high green HRM were more likely to engage in green behavior. Study 2, a field study based on the survey data from 173 leader-employee dyads, not only replicated the findings of study 1a and 1b but also revealed that the interaction of green HRM and green transformational leadership was positively related to employee green behavior through the mediating role of pro-environmental goal clarity.

This study contributes to the literature in several ways. First, by revealing the positive interactive effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior, our findings guide us toward a better understanding of how to facilitate employee green behavior from a comprehensive and balanced perspective. Second, by revealing the mediating role of environmental goal clarity, this study contributes to a detailed understanding of how green HRM and green transformational leadership jointly influence employee green behavior. Finally, our results provide some implications for practitioners with how to promote employee green behavior, such as adopting green HRM and developing leaders’ green transformational leadership simultaneously.

Key words: green transformational leadership, green HRM practices, pro-environmental goal clarity, green behavior, cue consistency theory

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