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Linking interacting/engaging environmental CSR communication strategy and employees' pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs): mediating roles of communal relationship and employee empowerment

Enzhu Dong (Department of Strategic Communication, School of Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)
Ruoyu Sun (Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Yeunjae Lee (University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 18 December 2023

Issue publication date: 2 April 2024

171

Abstract

Purpose

With the growing concern for environmental and sustainability issues, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, organizations feel compelled to pursue green sustainability in their operations. In this regard, the active involvement of employees in pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) is crucial for achieving organizational environmental sustainability goals (Saeed et al., 2019). To shed light on this important issue, this study aims to investigate the impact of interacting/engaging environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication strategy on employees' PEBs through the mediating effects of communal relationship and employee empowerment.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 443 full-time USA employees working across various industries participated in an online survey.

Findings

The interacting/engaging environmental CSR communication strategy fosters employees' perceived communal relationship with their organizations and empowers them to support their organization's environmental initiatives, which, in turn, positively influences employees' PEBs at work.

Originality/value

This study advances CSR and internal communication literature through the lens of relationship management and self-determination theories. The findings theoretically suggest the effectiveness of the interacting/engaging environmental CSR communication strategy in nurturing favorable employee–organization relationships (EORs), employee empowerment and PEBs at work. The practical implications of CSR communication are also elaborated.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was supported by a Page Legacy Scholar Grant from The Arthur W. Page Center at Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at The Pennsylvania State University.

Since submission of this article, the following author(s) have updated their affiliations: Yeunjae Lee is at the Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

Citation

Dong, E., Sun, R. and Lee, Y. (2024), "Linking interacting/engaging environmental CSR communication strategy and employees' pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs): mediating roles of communal relationship and employee empowerment", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 451-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-05-2023-0068

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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