A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Employee agency in the context of organisational sustainability (2021)

Russell, S., Giæver, F., & Onkila, T. (2021). Employee agency in the context of organisational sustainability. In S. Teerikangas, T. Onkila, K. Koistinen, & M. Mäkelä (Eds.), Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency (pp. 93-103). Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789906035.00011

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Russell, Sally; Giæver, Fay; Onkila, Tiina

Parent publication: Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency

Parent publication editors: Teerikangas, Satu; Onkila, Tiina; Koistinen, Katariina; Mäkelä, Marileena

ISBN: 978-1-78990-602-8

eISBN: 978-1-78990-603-5

Publication year: 2021

Pages range: 93-103

Number of pages in the book: 464

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

Place of Publication: Cheltenham

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789906035.00011

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


In this chapter we explore the role that employees play as agents for creating change for sustainability in their organisations. While much research is focused on the organisational level and key decision-makers, we take a different approach and examine how individual actions within an organisation make a significant contribution to change agency for sustainability. We first examine the concept of employee sustainability behaviour and examine how it has been understood within the management literature. We then explore how employee behaviour contributes to organisational-level sustainability performance and how employees can and do act as agents of change for the organisation. Following this, we present an outline of the complexities of employee behaviour and outline current understanding of the motivations and drivers of employee behaviour. Drawing on the most recent research we identify how employee green behaviour can contribute to broader sustainability goals and we make recommendations for future researchers and identify the most pressing research questions.

Keywords: sustainable development; individual; employees; organisations (systems); human agency; influencing; values (conceptions)

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:39