Examining the Role of Green Transformational Leadership on Promoting Green Organizational Behavior

Examining the Role of Green Transformational Leadership on Promoting Green Organizational Behavior

Chipo Mukonza (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa) and Ilze Swarts (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6286-3.ch011


This chapter examines the role of green transformational leadership on promoting green organizational behavior. Green transformational leadership has been found to be influencing green organizational behavior. The study uses content analysis and website analysis. Nedbank is used in the chapter as an archetype of an organization with a green transformational leadership which has influenced green organizational behavior. Four characteristics of green transformational leadership namely idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration were used. The leadership engages its customer and rewards them for green behavior which is important for intellectual stimulation and motivating their employees. The study contributes to the body of knowledge on green transformational behavior by confirming the relationship. The chapter recommends that more trainings and educational awareness on green values be provided to the management so that ultimately this are emulated and practiced by their employees.
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The culture of an organisation or any group of individuals is a reflection of the values, beliefs and behaviours of leaders of the group. (Richard Barrett)



The aim of the chapter is to examine the role of green transformational leadership in promoting green organisational behaviour. The term green transformational leadership refers to those aspects of a leader's behaviour which motivate followers to fulfil environmental objectives and goals, and encourage followers to perform beyond expectation for achieving environmental performance such as green creativity (Chen & Chang, 2013). If an organisation is to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and sustainable green growth, green practises and environmental pro-behaviour are no longer a necessity, but an imperative. In addition, understanding the fundamental reason why employees engage in green behaviour at work, has become imperative. Green organisational behaviour at work has been defined as ‘a broad set of environmentally responsible activities such as learning more about the environment, developing and applying ideas for reducing the company’s environmental impact, developing green processes and products, recycling and reusing, and questioning practices that hurt the environment’ (Graves, Sarkis & Zhu, 2013, p. 81). Incorporating green management into the everyday language and fabric of an organisation is a growing phenomenon, fueled by the realisation that green credentials matter and opportunities for a competitive advantage through innovative methods and design are feasible (Russo & Fouts, 1997).

Previous studies have established that green transformational leadership has a positive influence on green organisational identity, which leads to the promotion of green creativity in the organisation. Therefore, there is a need to encourage employees to practise green behaviour at work in order to address the growing threat of climate change (Ones & Dilchert, 2012; Paillé & Boiral, 2013). Transformational leadership plays a huge part by generating a supportive and conducive environment to green organisational behaviour (Jung, Chow & Wu, 2003). Furthermore, transformational leadership is said to be playing a significant role in promoting employee creativity (Paillé & Boiral, 2013). Against this background, this chapter seeks to examine the role of green transformational behaviour in promoting green organisational behaviour. The chapter includes the introduction, while the next section provides the background with definitions, issues and controversies on key words from the topics green transformational leadership, green organisational behaviour and green practices. The third section provides a discussion and literature review on the role of green transformational leadership in promoting green organisational behaviour. The fourth section provides the theoretical framework of the chapter, followed by material and methods used in the chapter. The last section provides results, a discussion and the recommendation and conclusion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Nedbank: One of the big four banks in South Africa.

Idealized Influence: Leaders they act in a way that will encourage subordinates to follow their actions or behavior.

Inspiration Motivation: Where leaders motivate employees to work better that what is expected of them.

Organizational Behavior: Strategies, actions, and activities that are carried out by an organization.

Intellectual Stimulation: Encouraging employees engages their employees and provides a platform for feedback.

Green Values: What the organization believes in and upholds.

Idealized Consideration: Having empathy on your subordinates and more importantly the leader provides support for the individual development needs of followers.

Green Practices: Activities or actions that are employed by an organization with the aim of protecting the environment and reducing its carbon emissions.

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