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Only reasoned action? An interorganizational study of energy-saving behaviors in office buildings

Lo, SH; Peters, G-JY; van Breukelen, GJP; Kok, G; (2014) Only reasoned action? An interorganizational study of energy-saving behaviors in office buildings. Energy Efficiency , 7 (5) 761 - 775. 10.1007/s12053-014-9254-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Substantial energy savings can be achieved by reducing energy use in office buildings. The reported study used a Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model extended with perceived habit to explain office energy-saving behaviors. One aim was to examine if organizational contextual variability independently predicted office energy-saving behaviors over and above TPB variables and self-reported habit. Another aim was to examine the relative predictive value of TPB variables and habit for energy-saving behaviors between organizational contexts. Survey data on energy-saving behaviors, TPB variables, and habit and number of office mates were collected from office workers of four organizations in the Netherlands. The results indicate that intention was the strongest direct predictor of the behaviors printing smaller and not printing e-mails, whereas habit was the strongest predictor of the behaviors switching off lights and switching off monitors. Of the social-cognitive factors, attitude was the strongest predictor of intentions overall. The effect of perceived norm varied widely between behaviors and subgroups. Number of office mates had a direct, unmediated effect on the behavior switching off lights and a mediated effect via attitude and perceived control. The effect of organizational contextual variability on behavior was entirely mediated through the psychosocial factors for the two ‘printing behaviors’, but only partially for the two ‘switching behaviors’. The relative predictive value of habit and intention differed between organizations. The findings suggest that organizational contextual variability has unconscious influences on some office energy-saving behaviors. Interventions should take variation in the relative importance of cognitive factors and habit between behaviors, and to a lesser extent between organizational contexts, into account.

Type: Article
Title: Only reasoned action? An interorganizational study of energy-saving behaviors in office buildings
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12053-014-9254-x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12053-014-9254-x
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Keywords: Energy-saving in office buildings, Theory of Planned Behavior, Habit, Unconscious influences on behavior
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469528
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