Patriotism as a conduit to employee environmental engagement in a post-Soviet economy in transition

Andrianova, Olga; Schaefer, Anja and Smolovic Jones, Owain (2022). Patriotism as a conduit to employee environmental engagement in a post-Soviet economy in transition. Business Strategy and the Environment (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.3278

Abstract

This paper investigates the way in which first-line managers in Belarusian chemical companies used environmental framings of the notion of homeland and linked these to Soviet-legacy organisational practices in order to encourage members of staff to engage in proenvironmental behaviour at work. Participants presented three different framings of homeland: Rodina (the motherland), small Rodina (one's more immediate surroundings), and Katorga (“a country with forced labour”) to show how a sense of environmental responsibility could (or could not) be linked to them. Different Soviet-legacy motivational and mobilisation techniques could be used by front-line managers to encourage and reward proenvironmental engagement in employees who were amenable to different framings of homeland. The paper contributes to the limited literature on patriotism as a conduit to environmental virtue and engagement, and to the equally scarce literature on proenvironmental attitudes and behaviours in post-Soviet economies in transition. Through rich, qualitative descriptions of emotionally coloured framings of homeland as constitutive of environmental responsibility, we show how notions of patriotism linked to specific organisational practices provide front-line managers with a language and motivational techniques to address employees' environmental engagement—or lack thereof.

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