Faculty & Leadership Blog / Faculty in the News

If Your Company Thinks Green, You Will Too

Jennifer Tosti-Kharas

Are you passionate about saving the earth?  It depends where you work.

New research by Babson professor Jennifer Tosti-Kharas and coauthors finds that people are more likely to perform sustainability practices when they believed their organizations value sustainability, regardless of their own personal beliefs about the importance of sustainability.

Organization OR Environment? Disentangling Employees’ Rationales Behind Organizational Citizenship Behavior for the Environment published by Sage Publishing, explores the idea behind why employees participate in voluntary sustainability practices in the workplace.

Most past research on this topic has used a measure of how important people think sustainability is in general, meaning for broad ecological reasons, but never contextualized within a work organization,” says Professor Tosti-Kharas.

Through this research Professor Tosti-Kharas and her co-authors Eric Lamm and Tom E. Thomas looked into both personal and organizational reasons why employees act on sustainability practices.  It is clear that if the employee morally believes that it is the right thing to do then they will contribute to sustainability practices in the work place but through this research the authors have proven that even if the employee doesn’t personally find it important, if their organization does they will participate.

The authors surveyed 489 working adults across a wide range of organizations and occupations.

Jennifer Tosti-Kharas

Jennifer Tosti-Kharas is an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Babson College. She teaches organizational behavior and leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is also one of the faculty members affiliated with the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork (CLTP) program at Babson. Prior to joining Babson, she was an assistant professor of management at San Francisco State University.

Prof. Tosti-Kharas’s research explores how employees manage their work lives and careers over time, particularly during periods of transition, such as involuntary job loss, organizational change, and personal setbacks. H

Her research has been published in outlets such as Personnel Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Managerial Psychology, and Journal of Career Assessment. Her research on organizational citizenship behavior toward the environment received the 2013 Best Micro Paper award from Group & Organization Management.

Tosti-Kharas serves on the editorial board for Journal of Organizational Behavior and has served as a representative-at-large for the Careers Division of the Academy of Management. She has been twice recognized as a Best Reviewer at the Academy of Management. Before entering academia, she worked as a strategy consultant at Accenture, specializing in the communications, media, and entertainment industries.

She earned her PhD in management from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and her BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric Lamm

Eric Lamm is an associate professor at the San Francisco State University College of Business. His research focuses on job attitudes, teams, and organizational change.

Tom E. Thomas

Tom E. Thomas is an associate professor and Chair of the Management Department at the San Francisco State University College of Business. His current research focuses on corporate environmental management, sustainable business strategies, and how companies manage conflicts of interest.