Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI)




New publication: "Corporate Purpose and Employee Sustainability Behaviors" by Michael Neureiter and co-authors


Given the sustainability challenges humanity faces, companies need to go beyond mere rhetoric and find ways to effectively motivate and enable all their employees to incorporate sustainability into their jobs. In their article “Corporate Purpose and Employee Sustainability Behaviors”, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, Michael Neureiter and his co-authors propose a novel conceptual framework that establishes the key role of corporate purpose in driving employees’ sustainability behaviors, via the mediating role of the psychological ownership of sustainability (SO) among employees. Through four individual surveys, including a survey experiment as well as two surveys conducted among the employees of partner companies, the authors establish a company’s articulated purpose, the autonomy employees feel, and the self-importance of their moral identity as interactive drivers of SO and sustainability behaviors. Specifically, these are highest when employees (a) perceive their employer to have a purpose beyond profit maximization, (b) perceive high autonomy in carrying out sustainability initiatives at their jobs, and (c) morality is an important part of their sense of who they are.