Why administrative leaders take pro‐environmental leadership actions: Evidence from an eco‐compensation programme in China

Xiaohu WANG, Hanyu XIAO, Kai CHEN, Xuejiao NIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Pro‐environmental leadership behaviours have been examined as the result of institutional forces, though anecdotes suggest the significant role of individual leaders. Little is known about this role in environmental policy implementation, and few empirical studies explore pro‐environmental leadership behaviours in the public sector. In this study, we empirically test a typology of pro‐environmental leadership behaviours and examine administrative leaders' motives for engaging in pro‐environmental behaviours. We then establish the relevance of our findings in environmental policy implementation. We empirically confirm the construct validity of pro‐environmental leadership behaviours that require leaders should articulate a policy vision, change followers' perception, and take symbolic actions. Our findings show that leaders' environmental efforts are largely prompted by legal compliance and motivated by instrumental self‐interest (e.g. increased economic opportunities), and normative values of engaging with broad sustainability issues may also have limited but potentially long‐lasting effects. Moreover, the evidence also suggests the importance of a workplace environment conducive to pro‐environmental leadership behaviours. These findings can be used to develop local strategies that stress policy implementation capacity building to induce pro‐environmental leadership behaviours in China. Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Early online dateAug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2020

Citation

Wang, X., Xiao, H., Chen, K., & Niu, X. (2020). Why administrative leaders take pro‐environmental leadership actions: Evidence from an eco‐compensation programme in China. Environmental Policy and Governance. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/eet.1902

Keywords

  • Environmental policy implementation
  • Environmental policymaking in the public sector
  • Motivations
  • Pro-environmental leadership behaviours

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