Institutionalizing Social Responsibility Through Workplace Green Behavior

Institutionalizing Social Responsibility Through Workplace Green Behavior

Sulaiman Olusegun Atiku (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6286-3.ch010


Corporate social responsibility in the last six decades has been construed as a compensation for environmental pollution. Such compensation in most cases cannot replace the damages done to the natural environment by many companies. The academic discourse in promoting responsible business practices and environmental sustainability remains one of the focal point of reference in the 21st century. The need to challenge the status quo through collective green initiatives and eco-innovation is an effort mitigating against environmental dilapidation. This chapter provides insights on institutionalizing workplace green behavior as a way of minimizing industrial pollution, rather than compensating for environmental pollution. This chapter adopted a literature review approach on corporate social responsibility (CSR), workplace green behavior, and environmental management. Therefore, workplace green behavior should be institutionalized at individual, team, and organizational levels by business leaders. There is need for a perfect fit between HR strategies and green management initiative.
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Institutionalising social responsibility through workplace green behaviour could be linked to the developments in corporate social responsibility (CSR). The evolution of CSR can be traced to Bowen’s study of “Social Responsible Businessman”, which was published in 1953 (Madrakhimova, 2013). This implies that academic discourse on CSR has been in existence for over six (6) decades. The concept has received many definitions arising from different perspectives. Davis and Blomstrom (1975) in Chang and Chen (2012) referred to CSR as the obligation of companies to take action to protect and to improve the welfare of the society, which is thought as their interests. Judging from this definition, CSR could be regarded as a discretionary obligation. Similarly, the European Commission (2002, p. 5) defines CSR as “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”. Comprehensively, CSR is defined “as situations where a company goes beyond compliance and engages in “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the company and that which is required by law” (McWilliams, Siegel, & Wright, 2006, p. 1). This definition reflects Carroll’s classification of CSR, which are “economic responsibility”, “legal responsibility”, “ethical responsibility”, and “discretionary responsibility” (Carroll, 1979 in Chang & Chen, 2012, p. 76).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green Intelligence: Is the high levels of intelligent quotients on environmental information and green innovative capability for ecological sustainability.

Green Structural Capital: The stock of capabilities, commitments, knowledge management systems, managerial philosophies, organizational culture, company images, patents, copyrights, and trademarks on environmental protection or green innovation within a system.

Green Mindfulness: A state of conscious awareness which individuals are implicitly aware of the context and content of environmental information and knowledge for environmental sustainability.

Collective Green Creativity: A business unit comprising creative individuals working to provide new ideas or solutions to complex problems through critical thinking for sustainability.

Green Relational Capital: The stocks of a company’s interactive relationships with major stakeholders about corporate environmental management and green innovation to create fortunes and obtain competitive advantage.

Green Human Capital: The summation of employees’ competencies, experience, attitudes, creativities, and commitments about environmental protection or green innovation.

Green Self-Efficacy: Individuals’ capabilities or determination to organize and execute courses of action required to achieve environmental goals.

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