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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 14562
Making sense of Green Office
Author: Pellinen, Ulla
Title: Making sense of Green Office
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; ekologia; ecology; organisaatio; organization; ympäristönsuojelu; environmental protection; työntekijät; workers; identiteetti; identity
Pages: 60
Full text:
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Key terms: greening; identity; sensemaking
The aim of the research was to investigate how organizational members make sense of green change and how they talk about Green Office. A global pharmaceutical enterprise working at the private company sector formed a research context of this study. The company gained WWF´s Green Office certificate in 2012.

This research is a qualitative in nature and focuses on narratives of employees in order to comprehend how green discourse provided by Green Office (identity regulation) was interpreted by employees (identity work) and thus what was an outcome (self-identity) (Alvesson & Willmott 2002). This research built on the existing research and contributes to better understand the role of Green Office in greening of the organization. In spite of broad studies in the field of organizational greening there was a gap in understanding how people are making sense of greening at the work environment due to program such as WWF´s Green Office.

The data was gathered by interviews and supplemented with supportive documents from the organization. Since this research investigated talk, narrative approach was justified and narrative analysis approach was used in data analysis.

Three types of identities, that present different attitudes and concerns toward greening and pro-environmental issues, were identified. Favorable, conventional and skeptical represent distinct behavior and action manners among respondents. Favorable are favor for pro-environmental discourse and attempt to behave as sustainable way as possible. Skeptical named these types of individuals as "watermelons". Sustainable discourse was strange and unfamiliar for skeptical and they were named "non-Christian" who disregards green behavior. Between these two extremities are situated conventionals that wish to be as sustainable as possible as long as it is convenient and they were nominated as a "wanna-be-green".

Implementation of Green Office in organization, where receivers are at the different level in knowledge of pro-environmental issues, is challenging. Some respondents were familiar with the green discourse while some of them express their disregard of the topic. However, the organizational behavior and discourse change is possible, even though more resources are needed in order to improve company´s ecological footprint and achieve significant results. The relationship between business and environmental is crucial in future success in pro-environmental issues.

The results suggest that organizational members need support in their green behavior and mindset. Organizational members profit the communication of company´s green discourse (Fine-man 1996) and celebration of accomplishments is seen important in successful change management (McClellan 2011). Organizational members should be encouraged to express their ideas of improvement in green activities frequently.

Due to specific research context, generalization of these findings is advised to do moderately.
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