Greening the corporation through organizational citizenship behaviors

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):221 - 236 (2009)
Organizational citizenship behaviors have been the topic of much research attempting to understand the motivations, manifestations, and impacts of these behaviors on organizational development. However, studies have been based essentially on an anthropocentric and intra-organizational perspective that tends to ignore broader environmental issues. Due to the complexity of environmental issues and their human, informal, and preventive aspects, consideration of these issues requires voluntary and decentralized initiatives that draw on organizational citizenship behaviors. The role of these behaviors has been neglected, or even ignored, in studies of environmental management, which have focused mainly on the explicit, formal, and prescriptive aspects of organizations. The aim of this article is to shed light on the pertinence of organizational citizenship behaviors in improving the efficacy and efficiency of environmental management. The article discusses how the principal dimensions of these behaviors can be applied to the environmental practices of organizations and underlines their importance in responding to essential challenges of environmental management, including the complexity of environmental issues, limitations of formal management systems, the need to consider tacit knowledge, the importance of helping relationships, and the promotion of␣social legitimacy among organizations. Measures to encourage eco-efficiency and establish a favorable context for the emergence of citizenship behaviors are also proposed.
Keywords organizational citizenship behaviors  environmental management  sustainability  pollution prevention  eco-efficiency  voluntary initiatives
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