On how personal values and sustainability conceptions impact students’ sustainability management orientation: evidence from Germany, Indonesia, and the USA

Seidel, Jan, Sundermann, Anna, Brieger, Steven A, Strathoff, Pepe, Jacob, Gabriel H, Antonia, Tony and Utami, Christina W (2018) On how personal values and sustainability conceptions impact students’ sustainability management orientation: evidence from Germany, Indonesia, and the USA. Journal of Global Responsibility, 9 (4). pp. 335-354. ISSN 2041-2568

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This study develops and empirically tests a framework on how personal values and sustainability conceptions affect students’ sustainability management orientation (SMO). An understanding of this connection gives insight into the question whether students are likely to engage in sustainable business practices in their future work.

A cross-sectional and comparative research design is employed, using survey data of business students from Germany, Indonesia, and the United States (N=475). The proposed mediation models are tested by bootstrap procedures using Hayes’s (2013) PROCESS macro for SPSS.

Self-transcendence values translate into more nuanced sustainability conceptions since individuals with self-transcendence values are more likely to conceptualize sustainability beyond their own (narrow) self-interests. In turn, the stronger individuals’ sustainability conceptions, the higher the likelihood that they prefer sustainable management practices in their future professional working field.

Research limitations/implications
Implications arise for researchers to investigate the engagement of future managers with different personal value types in sustainability practices and to gain insights into values and sustainability conceptions as a learning outcome. Limitations of this research—for instance, arising from potential common method bias—are discussed.

Practical implications
The findings point to the need to (re-)design appointment processes for management positions in a way that allows taking into account individuals’ personal values and sustainability conceptions. This research may also help firms and higher education institutions to empower their workforce/students to develop more integrated perspectives on sustainability challenges as well as teaching methods that address students’ effective learning outcomes, e.g. their values.

The paper offers a new framework and a cross-country perspective on psychological antecedents of individuals’ sustainability management orientation as an important prerequisite for responsible behavior in the business context.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sustainability, management orientation, personal values, sustainability conceptions, cross-country study
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Steven Brieger
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 08:09
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2018 16:43
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/77727

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