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The impact of “green‐collar workers” on organizations

Diane M. Harvey (Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA)
Susan M. Bosco (Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA)
Gregory Emanuele (Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 23 April 2010




The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the presence of “green‐collar workers” in organizations, including whether their perception of the organization with regard to environmental activities would affect their willingness to recommend the employer to others. It also aims to analyse generational differences with regard to this phenomenon.


The study used a survey developed from other research on green‐collar workers. It was distributed electronically and the data analysed using primarily χ2 and analysis of variance (ANOVA).


There were differences in knowledge levels regarding environmental topics such as the Kyoto treaty and the Green‐Collar Jobs Act. Significant correlations were also found among the variables of generation, willingness to recommend employer, and importance of school/workplace being environmentally friendly.

Research limitations/implications

The use of an online survey was a limitation due to the need for technology access to respond. Despite this limitation, subjects included sufficient members of all four generations to perform the analyzes.

Practical implications

Organizations that are trying to “go green” may well benefit from improved employee relations as a result. Employees who are interested in environmental issues will more likely recommend their companies to others when they feel the organization reflects their interest.


Other studies have not included gender or generational aspects of the issue of environmentalism in their work. This empirical study also investigates the relationship between organizations’ environmental activities, employee perceptions of the organization, and their willingness to recommend their company to others.



Harvey, D.M., Bosco, S.M. and Emanuele, G. (2010), "The impact of “green‐collar workers” on organizations", Management Research Review, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 499-511.



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