In the last decade, managing and sustaining the environment has become one of the most important issues facing organisations globally (Brown & Osborne, 2012; Karani & Jewasikiewitz, 2007; Tandon, 2012; Starik & Marcus, 2000). Literature suggests that the importance of sustaining the environment in South African (SA) mining organisations is vital (Hamann, 2003). Given that climate change is largely driven by human activity, and the success of environmental programs often depends on employees behaviours, fostering employees pro-environmental behaviour within organizations has now become critical (Daily, Bishop & Govindarajulu, 2009). This study aimed to explore this phenomenon and contribute to what seemed to be a rather scarce body of knowledge which may be used by South African mining organisation in facilitating pro-environmental behaviour.
The purpose of the study is to determine to what extent the antecedents of OCBE, as outlined in the model presented by Daily et al. (2009), are relevant and applicable to encourage employees in South African mining organisations to act in favour of the environment. The study therefore explores how employees perceive the relevance of the factors identified by Daily et al. (2009) as determinants of OCBE. A further aim is to explore employees perceptions for the purpose of identifying other possible factors that promote voluntary pro-environmental behaviours in South African mining organisations.
The overall aim of this study is to contribute towards constructing an OCBE- model which can serve as a blueprint for South African mining organisations to achieve environmental performance. The findings of this study aim to stimulate further research on environmental management in South African mining organisations.
Motivation for the study
As postulated, the OCBE- model could assist organisations in overcoming current challenges experienced with environment management initiatives implementation and lead to improved overall organisational environmental performance (Daily et al., 2009). However, the OCBE- model with all of its constructs seems to be mainly theoretically formulated with limited empirical evidence to support its validity or accuracy. This study therefore aims to evaluate the impact these factors has on employee behaviour in SA mining organisations to engage in voluntary environmental initiatives.
Research design, approach and method
For the purpose of this qualitative study open-ended, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used as data collection instruments.
The following points present a summary of the most significant findings of the study:
? Environmental concern was found to be an important facilitating construct to promote pro-environmental behaviour, especially given the history and cultural context of mining organisations in South Africa.
? Organisational commitment was deemed to be an important antecedent to facilitate pro-environmental behaviour. However, participants found that organisational commitment can only be consistently instilled if organisations engage in a continuous effort to foster a conducive culture that supports pro-environmental initiatives.
? Perceived top management support was confirmed as an antecedent to pro-environmental behaviour and was supported by findings such as perceptions of clear and visible commitment and belief from top management as well as the impact of behavioural modelling in changing individual level behaviour.
? The results confirmed the impact perceived CSP can have in guiding and changing employee behaviour in favour of the environment. The results furthermore emphasised the psychological impact of CSP initiatives on employees from adjacent rural communities. Moreover, findings suggest that mining companies in South Africa should carefully consider the implication of financial investment as it may negatively impact on the perceptions of employees from rural areas. Findings in this study identified Compliance as an additional issue that has a relationship with pro-environmental behaviour. Results, as confirmed by literature, indicated an inconsistent relationship in this regard and emphasised the limitation of compliance when used in isolation.
? Leadership, over and above top management support, was found to be an important issue in facilitating employees to engage in pro-environmental behaviours.
? Environmental awareness and education was deemed a critical issue when expecting employees, especially on lower levels, to demonstrate behaviour in favour of environmental preservation.
? Rewards and incentives were found to have a positive influence on behaviour change in favour of the environment. However, this should be carefully and strategically used in a short-term manner and as part of a larger more inclusive recognition approach.
Limitations / future research
The most significant limitation to the study was the small size of the research sample, which was dictated by the availability of highly experience human resource incumbents in South African mining organisations with environmental and extensive human behaviour experience. The small sample size suggests limitation on the generalisability of the research findings (Welman et al., 2005). It is recommended that future research studies aim to validate or elaborate on the findings using quantitative research approaches with larger sample sizes.
The primary purpose of the study was to explore the relevance of the antecedents to pro-environmental behaviour, as outlined in Daily et al. s model, in a South African mining context. In doing so, a blue print model was formulated in an attempt to illuminate constructs that might be relevant in the facilitation of pro-environmental behaviour in South African mining context. Although some authors postulated that developing a model incorporating all factors might neither be feasible nor useful, it is felt that this model, together with the findings of the study, could help illuminate the complex field of pro-environmental behaviour in a South African context (Steg & Vleg, 2009).
Mini Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2015.