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Environmental leadership reconceptualised: The role of employee voice in the emergence of environmental leadership

Bratton, Andrew; Robertson, Jennifer; Paulet, Renee


Jennifer Robertson

Renee Paulet


This empirical paper contributes to the current research on environmental leadership in supporting environmental sustainability in the workplace. Specifically, it examines a variety of employee voice mechanisms used to engage employees in pro-environmental change, including direct communication, problem-solving, teamwork and representative participation. Our analyses examine how different employee voice mechanisms offer different levels of learning for environmental sustainability and how some voice mechanisms encourage dialogical communication and richer forms of learning between managers and employees. By examining how employees use their voice and interactions to influence individuals or work teams, we provide a framework for environmental leadership highlighting the role of employee voice. This research employs a multiple case study approach in which qualitative data were collected in six public and private sector organisations in local government, health, higher education, transport, and energy in Scotland. The research design incorporated extensive fieldwork, such as selective semi-structured interviews and focus groups involving eighty-seven (87) participants spanning HR managers, environmental managers, line managers, union representatives and employees. The results demonstrate the importance of employee voice mechanisms in supporting employee engagement in environmental leadership behaviour. The findings provide insight into how environmental issues are communicated to employees and which employee voice mechanisms exist to engage employees in pro-environmental change.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name British Academy of Management (BAM) HRM International Symposium
Start Date Jun 12, 2022
End Date Jun 14, 2022
Publication Date Jun 13, 2022
Deposit Date May 2, 2022
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