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The everyday as a research object

LOCAW will study the routines and rituals of everyday life, defined as taken-for-granted practices that are continuously repeated. It is one of the first research studies that explicitly examines sustainable practices and behaviours in the workplace in different EU countries and in different types of organizations

The interaction between interest, awareness and public action

Although we think that climate change is universally recognised as a preoccupying reality, there are variations in the way it is thought about and discussed. Even if there is concern, this does not always translate into action. This has been referred to by environmental experts and politicians as the Value-Action gap. It may be the result of the necessity to provide clearer and simpler information. In other cases, environmental concern may not translate into specific actions because of the high cost (e.g., time, effort, money) of these actions. Equally, it may be because people find change threatening – to themselves, their families, the jobs and their lifestyles. LOCAW will take a different perspective and will focus on everyday practices in the workplace and on the interplay of barriers and drivers of sustainable behaviour at different levels: structural, organizational, and individual.

Structural and organizational factors influencing sustainable behaviour

It has been shown that organizations sometimes lack a clear understanding of the complexities of sustainability. This is often due to deficiencies in communication and information management, the lack of appropriate training or the failure to see that sustainability practices can be good for business and the ‘bottom line’. This research will focus on identifying good practice and the opportunities for managers to enhance the sustainable practices of employees. It will examine whether corporate engagement with sustainability promotes pro-environmental behaviour in the workplace,. It will explore the opportunities to introduce sustainability values into the internal logic of production and in economic decision-making processes.

Individual factors influencing sustainable behaviour

LOCAW will study individual and social factors such as: a) knowledge – which predicts many pro-environmental behaviours; b) motivation - important for the understanding of intentions and willingness to act in a responsible way; and c) capacity - important in the study of the perception of structural and organisational factors, d) solidarity – which provides opportunities for collective social action, e) resistance – critical for understanding barriers to social, environmental and organisational change. LOCAW will focus on the complex interactions between these and other factors, in order to provide a more complete picture of the barriers to, and drivers of, sustainability in the workplace.

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Umea University Universidade da Coruña Universitatea de Vest UNiversity of Surrey The James Hutton Institute University of Groningen CIRPA European Union Enviroment Seventh Framework Programme
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