Conceptualizing the relationship between personal values and sustainability—a TMO case study
journal contributionposted on 2020-07-20, 10:00 authored by Mohammad Rickaby, Jacqueline Glass, Scott FernieScott Fernie
Sustainability is associated with many contemporary challenges facing society, prompting sustainability initiatives and research in this field. An emerging strand of research has sought to investigate sustainability as a function of values. Given that values determine and predict perceptions, attitudes and behaviors, understanding employees’ underlying values would provide important insights on how values relate to sustainability-related actions. However, there is a gap in knowledge around individual actors’ roles as influencers or change agents for sustainability, particularly in a construction project context. Drawing on values theory, this exploratory research addresses this gap by conceptualizing the relationship between personal values and sustainability performance. A Temporary Multiple Organization (TMO) (a major infrastructure project in the UK) was used as the case study. An adapted version of Schwartz Value Survey (SVS) was used to measure and analyze the personal values of employees with professional and managerial roles. Statistical and multidimensional scaling analysis were deployed to analyze the responses. Given the lack of theory and research in a construction management context, the potential significance and implications of the findings were explored and analyzed by drawing on existing empirical studies around values. This enabled the development of six theoretical concepts (‘Feeling of Oneness’, ‘Moral Obligation’, ‘Creativity’, ‘Challenge’, ‘Change’ and ‘Compliance’) latterly expressed as propositions. This novel conceptualization has the potential to explain and articulate the relationship between personal values and sustainability performance. This research has both practical and theoretical implications, as it is the first to explain the role of personal values in enabling projects to deliver sustainability in a TMO context.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant number EP/G/037272)
Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE) at Loughborough University
Action Sustainability Ltd
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering