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.
CitationWang, 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
- Environmental policy implementation
- Environmental policymaking in the public sector
- Pro-environmental leadership behaviours