1.1. Back Ground of the Study
The globally growing concern for environment induces business organizations to move towards sustainable operations and formulate green policies. The international standards for environment protection and conservation urge for organizations to formulate environment-friendly strategies. With everyone, from customers to employees to investors becoming more and more environment conscious. The green movement across the world gave birth to Green HR. Human Resource Management is responsible for managing, developing and retaining employees in the organization in 19th and 20th century was era of industrialization ,Large quantity of consumer goods, demand for different products, the advancement of technology place lot of pressure on natural resources of Planet Earth (Hirlikar,2015). ‘Green Human Resource Management (referred as green HRM)’ is emerging as a momentous area in management (Mehta & Chugan, 2015). The incorporation of environmental objectives and strategies into the overall strategic development goals of an organization helps in arriving at an effective environment management system (Haden et al. 2009 cited in Ullah, 2017). There is a requirement for the amalgamation of environmental management in Human Resource Management since it is very important rather than just desirable.
Nowadays organizations which are adopting to Strategic Green HRM practices are able to attract and retain talent employees which further supports in reducing the replacement cost. Strategic Green HRM policies encourage sustainable utilization of resources in an organization in order to promote the cause of environmentalism and hence develop employee morale and satisfaction. It is been observed that there is a growing need for practicing strategic green HRM that is integrating environmental management in to HRM. It has now become highly important to encourage employees to be more environmental friendly whilst working in the organization (Yadav, 2017). This make changes in organizational climate and culture and also it reduce waste management, pollution, reduction in carbon footprints etc. It leads to maximum utilization of resources by employees, increases level of awareness among employees about energy conservation, reduction in carbon emission, and also it will inspires and encourage them to use eco-friendly products (Sharanya & Radhika, 2016).
Green HRM is the use of HR policies to the resources within the organization for environmental sustainability. GREEN initiatives promote Corporate Social Responsibility. The two basic elements of Green HR are practicing of eco -friendly HR initiatives and preservation of human capital with employee friendly practices. Green Human Capital is the preservation of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and philosophies that are unique and in line with the strategic values of a green enterprise and capable of bringing positive environment and business benefits to the enterprise. Organizations with Green Human Capital can put their green innovation to good use and help the enterprise to enhance its competitiveness. Employees following green initiatives design products that save energy and resources to production methods, production planning and management as well as other environmental solutions to lessen the impact of daily activities on environment (Ayeswarya, 2017). The responsibility of the present generations, HR managers is to create awareness amongst the youngsters and among the employees about the Green HRM, Green Movement, utilization of natural resources and helping the corporate to maintain proper environment, and retain the natural resources for our future generation (Hirlikar, 2015).
The primary mission of green HRM is to adopt green management tools to enhance economic, social and ecological benefits so as to achieve employees’ psychology, human and ecological harmony (LiJ, 2009). In relation to this, large numbers of university leaders have signed international agreements to advance environmental sustainability in higher education. The translation of singing these non-binding contracts in to practice, none the less, infrequently results in lasting institutional transformation (Bekessy et al.2007). Realizing the environmental impact the energy consumed and waste generated has improved the environmental management of their campus to reduce ecological foot print (Langat ; Kwasira, 2016). Urgent environmental issues led the incorporation of environmental topics in their curriculum in the 1970s. But, the degree of curriculum greening becomes limited by various challenges, demanding governmental support and students pressure to bring the valuable change (Haigh, 2005). The numbers of higher education institutions undertaking sustainability reporting, and the level of that reporting, is still in its early stages compared to corporations (Lozano 2011 cited in Langat ; Kwasira, 2016).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Currently, climate changes drastically adverse impact on the population of the world. Events such as hurricanes, rising sea levels and global warming give an impact to human lives. The condition is so alarming that the scientist and various parties are now demanding that each entity should play their role in the problems to overcome these phenomena. Thus, intellectuals in the field of management have begun to turn their attention to look forward to into sustainability. The rising of research and studies have shown that these issues attracting researcher’s mind. Green management is seen as one of the best methods to solve this problem. Large companies start to promote their actions to save the environment and implementing green management in their daily operation even though most of evident still in the low level of their involvement heading over towards sustainability (Firdaus and Mohamed, 2014)
In the 21st century the focus of several organizations are green human resource management, where human resource department is engaging in greening the culture of the organizations by maintaining green offices and green practices. The growing awareness of and regulations related to environmental sustainability have invoked the concept of green human resource management in the search for effective environmental management within organizations. In order to achieve organizational environmental goals of going green, green human resource management is very vital factor. This can be achieved by hiring and maintaining green employees, having sufficient knowledge and skills of green employees (Ramus, 2002; Sudin., 2011).
Ethiopia has emerged as one of Africa’s champions in responding to the implications of climate change. To reduce the negative effects, the nation devised Environmental Policy in the 1987 constitution. Following this, the government develops Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy to build a Green economy that allow Ethiopia to attain middle-income status by 2025, whilst building climate resilience and achieving growth with a zero net increase in carbon emissions as of 2010 levels. To transform this strategy in to action the country devised Growth and Transformation Plans (GTP). Now it is undertaking the 2nd growth and transformation plan. (FDRE, 2011).
As part of the strategy, the government has introduced four initiatives for fast-track implementation: exploiting the vast hydropower potential; large-scale promotion of advanced rural cooking technologies; efficiency improvements to the livestock value chain; and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). These initiatives have the best chances of advancing growth immediately, capturing large abatement potentials, and attracting climate finance for their implementation. To ensure a wide-ranging program, initiatives from all other sectors will also be promoted into concrete proposals. As the result, although some promising results have been achieved, due to the shortage trained human capital and other challenge failed to meet the anticipated targets incorporated in the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy.
A study conducted by Langat ; Kwasira (2016) revealed that several Kenyan Universities have already recognized sustainability demands and have reacted in different ways. They are investing in greener campuses, greener curricula, and ways of engaging staff, students and community, but one of the key limiting factors is financial resources. Some universities are already implementing low-carbon solutions at their campuses. On the other hand, the practice of Green Human Resource Management in Ethiopia in general and higher educational institution in particular has not yet adopted.
Several public universities of Ethiopia primarily Jimma University comes across with the problem of waste management, energy usage ; conservation, chemical, hospital wastes, toxic wastes, air pollution and other critical environmental concerns which negatively affects environmental suitability. Besides, even though green human resource ; environmental sustainability studies have been conducted worldwide, no research has been done on GHRM practices in Ethiopia. It is against this back drop that the current study is necessary. To this end, the major purpose of this case study is to explore the existing green human resource management status of Jimma University and to analyze the readiness to adopt Green HRM initiatives to promote environmental sustainability.
1.3 The Aim and Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to investigate the status and extent of green human resource initiatives undertaken by Jimma University. This will be carried out to achieve five objectives. The first one will investigate the perception of HR officials on GHRM. Second, will explore to what extent the university using HRM practice to raise awareness on environment. Third, will examine the driving force of GHRM in Jimma University. The fourth will be identifying the major factors that are affecting to implantation of GHRM and finally what measures should be taken to implement GHRM.
To achieve the research purpose of assessing the current GHRM practice, the following questions will be used. The central research question that this study aims to answer will be what is Green human resource management? This study will also addressed the following sub-questions
1. What is the perception of HR Professionals on GHRM in Jimma University?
2. What are the major GHRM drivers in the Jimma University?
3. Does the University provide awareness on GHRM to employees?
4.What GHRM initiatives would the university adopted to promote environmental sustainability?
5. What are the major challenges that affect the adoption of green HRM in the University?
6. What measures should be taken to implement GHRM in the University?
1.4. Significance of the Study
Green HRM is an emerging issue that focuses on the integration of green management concepts into HR strategies. With the increase of the awareness on environmental management and sustainable development, Green Human Resource Management gained its unique position. The theoretical and empirical aspects of the study will have significant contribution to the body of knowledge related to green human resource management. First, the study will help the managers and HR professionals in adopting and implementing Green HR in alignment with environmental issues which assist to preserve and reserve the environments. Second, it will help the unions and employees to adopt Green HRM policies and practices that supports safeguard and improve worker health and well-being. Third, it will encourage the academics by revealing supplementary data to add an HRM element to the knowledge base on Green Management in general.
The study is also a wakeup call for managers and human resource professionals ; top management of the university on how their staff can be used as a valuable asset in ensuring environmental sustainability through the means such as training on environmental issues. The study also suggests valuable insights on policy issues to government agencies that charged with environmental management and sustainability in Ethiopia. At the end, the research will be forwarded recommendations for future studies it opens up new researchers a venues regarding GHRM and green management in other sectors and universities of Ethiopia.
1.5. Delimitation of the Study
The study has both spatial and conceptual delimitations. Spatially this study is delimited to Jimma University. Conceptually this research is confined to the contribution of green human resource management to the environmental suitability and to examine the status and nature of green human resource management practices. The study’s unit of analysis also restricted to human resource director, employees safety and health experts and academic affairs director who have sufficient information pertaining to the issue under the study.
1.6. Limitations of the study
Qualitative research presents difficulty in regard to verification. For instance it offers “limited generalization”(Creswell, 2009). Specifically this study endeavors to examine and makes observation about only three participants in the study which may not represent the total population as well as the findings can’t applied for another university or other setting. Another limitation is the difficulty to replicate the study since it is a study of a unique group in unique situation. Besides this, the interpretive nature of qualitative study, the researcher relies on his capacity to interpret these meanings. Such interpretations will be shaped by the researcher’s personal, cultural, and historical experiences. Consequently, the interpretations of the research data will be limited by the researcher’s understanding of these experiences. Finally, due busy schedules participants may not have the willingness and devotion for the interview.
1. 7. Definition of Key Terms
Green HRM is a process of insuring the management system to integrate HR practices of an organization with environmental issue to maintain ecological balanced so as to build up sustainable environment (Kapil, 2015).
Sustainable Development is concerned with meeting the need of people today without trading off the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.
Eco-friendly or Eco-environmental employee- is having an employee who understands the importance of sustainability and who is capable to bring innovative solution to respond emerging environment related problems
Environmental Sustainability- refers to a state at which the demands placed on environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow living well, now and in the future.
1.8. Chapters Summary
The first chapter will provide an introduction of the thesis, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, and significance of the study, delimitation and limitations.
Chapter II presents a review of relevant literature that will be conducted prior to the research process in order to set the sense of the coming investigation in a way that addresses each of the research questions.
Chapter III discusses the methodological procedures followed to support the critical review of the thesis of evaluation on this detail qualitative research. It comprises the research design, sampling strategy, participant selection, data collection procedure, analysis and interpretation, evidence of quality, and feasibility.
Chapter IV presents the results of outcomes of analysis from the interview transcripts will be discussed to support the account.
Chapter V: the discussion section offers the critical reflection up on the findings of the research in relation to the existing literature and research evidences. Finally, chapter VI incorporates conclusions, recommendations and implication for policy and HR officers and further research.
Review of Related Literature
2.1. The Concept and Nature of Green Human Resources Management
Green Human Resource Management is emerging as an essential thrust area for management which can have a wide range impact on people issues in an organization (Prasad, 2013). Green HR refers to the application of environment-friendly Human Resource Management policies and initiatives towards the broader corporate environmental agenda to promote the sustainable use of resources within business firms and to promulgate the cause of ecological sustainability (Mandip, 2012). In line with this Yusliza et al (2015) state GHRM involves specific HR practice that are catered to the three sustainability pillars environment, social, and economic balance. Its main intention is to create a sustainable environment that is beneficial to the individual, society, the business through the implementation of human resource practices to minimize employee carbon footprint of organizations via reducing paper usage, reduction in travel and producing products and generate services that don’t affect the environment and introduce and adopt electronic filing, car sharing, sharing jobs, teleconferencing, virtual interview, recycle whenever possible ete (Aravamudhan , 2012)
Staring of 1960’s through to the mid 1970’s, the social movement and a public advocacy agenda were comprehensively established (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). This movement was initiated from social activists and scholars in response to the perception of corporate manipulation within the domains of environmental unruliness and political engagement. From the advent of these socially motivated movements, arose an increased awareness by the public of the effects of environmental degradation caused by corporate operations. In addition, the establishment of a politically motivated lobby group that began to counteract the perceived power that companies were exerting over public interest agendas (Jabbour & Santos 2008). It is credible to assume that it was these socially driven movements and ensuing environmental agendas that influenced multinational companies and domestic firms’ willingness to respond with policies and practices designed to protect the environment, employees, consumers and the public. Since the appearance of these socially motivated factions, corporations have increasingly responded by espousing environmentally targeted corporate policies that are integral to commercial planning. These revised agendas ultimately reflect business visions, strategies, policies and decisions (Waddock, 2004).
Despite evident changes in corporate attitudes toward environmental policy implementation due to the aforesaid activism, organizations are under constant pressure from a wide range of stakeholders both internal and external to the firm ( Jabbour ; Jabbour, 2012). As a result, not only are firms seeking ways to reduce the direct impacts of their operational activities but also alternative ways of managing and building the capabilities of their human capital, encouraging and implementing corporate best practices and further improving operational efficiencies. Due to the tremendous anticipations from the current generations, HR managers are obliged to spread awareness amongst the youngsters working for the organization about the concept of Green HRM. Mandip (2012) to maintain proper environment practices thereby retaining and preserving the natural resource of the planet for the coming generations is a sustainable development model (Mathapati, 2015). Implementation of corporate green management interventions require great degree of managerial and technical skills among its employees due to the fact that the firm will develop innovation oriented eco- friendly initiatives and programs that bear a significant impact on the sustainable competitive advantage of organizations.
2.2 The Concept of Environmental Sustainability
Contemporary business environment is coming across with several challenges, such as financial crisis and economic instability, globalization and competition, political crisis and raising level of terrorism, forced migrations of people, other demographic changes, cultural issues, etc. Besides, one more important issue today comes from the nature, as the request for the preservation of the environment. All those challenges influence higher complexity for organizations that are competing on the market and that are trying to achieve sustainable success. Organizations which did not respond to these issues properly vanished from the market. Sustainable development as a concept which deals with social, environmental, and economic goals of the firm (Ubius and Alas, 2012) gains special attention in this research. According Stojanoska 2016 cited in WECD 1987) sustainable development is “a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. There are many practices that organizations use in order to increase environmental protection and to establish sustainable business.
In this green world the green human resource sustainability is at its focus as notable components of its function as individuals and associations engage with the general public by altering their programs with it. Sustainability is not just being responsible to the community it can gain a crucial competitive advantages for the company. Along these lines, associations are starting to consider sustainability as a procedure that increase mutual value for both the organization and what’s more, society by providing a more significant share holder value, capital access and more grounded execution. Actually studies suggest the social and environmental responsibilities are beneficial in different ways. According to Harmon and Bashen (2010) companies can improve their status, efficiency, employees’ satisfaction and commitment, cost effectiveness, risk reduction innovation, growth and access to capital. Nonetheless, the relation between investments in sustainability and company’s performed is multifaceted and various components such as industry situation and business sector structure impact that the quality of the relation Stojanoska, (2016)
Companies now realize that they have to develop a powerful social conscience and green sense of responsibility where corporate responsibility is not an altruistic nice to have, but a business imperative. The HR function will become the driver of environmental sustainability within the organization by aligning its practices and policies with sustainability goals reflecting an eco-focus (Gill, 2012.) In line with this, researchers in this area argued that environmental management system can only be effectively implemented if the companies have the right people with the right skills and competencies (Daily and Huang, 2001). Strategic HRM researchers claim that to achieve HR effectiveness, HR should be practiced as a whole and must be aligned with the business strategic goals, the primary means by which firms can influence and shape the skills, attitudes, and behavior of individuals to do their work and thus achieve organizational goals (Collins and Clark, 2003).
2.3 Theories Related to GREEN HRM
2.3. 1. Emerging Theories in GHRM
Some authors see occupational psychology theories helping to craft and enact environmental initiatives (Bartlett, 2011). Here, research in one England workplace showed 48% of staff behavioral intentions regarding recycling explained by planned behavior variables, and attribution theory being utilized to argue that staff undertake sense-making to identify the important causes of environmental management events (Parker, 2011). Psychology theories may help companies understand how to form and enact green schemes and change staff behavior to address sustainability issues (Zibarras & Ballinger, 2011), as some commentators see ‘going green’ as related to individual staff behaviors (Bartlett, 2011), while existing work regarding VWGBs in identifying general personality and moral traits could stimulate underlying employee motives and contribute a new theoretical direction forward (Kim et al., 2014,). Additionally, other non-psychology theories are emerging, and the most recent critical theorizing using Marxist social and employment relation’s theory may help explain Trade Union behavior within the climate domain too ( Hampton, 2015)
2.3.2. Border Theory
This theory shows that employees need to be considered as active managers of their life domains, whose scope of action is influenced by their employer, other domain members and their personal resources (Desrochers, 2004). It can be assumed that employees’ scope of action for environmentally friendly behavior at work and in private life is also shaped by the company, domain members and employees’ personal resources. Moreover, border theory illustrates that other domain members, such as colleagues and superiors, play an important role in facilitating or constraining employees’ environmental performance in both life domains. It can be assumed that employees exchange about environmental issues at home and at work influence their environmental. Green HRM is in charge to deal with these interaction effects and employees’ chances to manage their life domains. The theory is thus relevant in identifying the role of HR officer in encouraging environmental conscious behavior among employees through means such as green employee training and green performance management. Border theory recognizes the role the supervisors and management can play a role in the lives of their employees to enhance their environmental consciousness (Owino ; Kwasira, 2016)
2.3.3 Attribution Theory
It is theoretically argued that Corporate social responsibly is a macro-level activity and the opinions that employees have of the organization’s CSR social policies including social change and sustainability, will affect employee behaviors and attitudes (Rupp et al 2006). Attribution theory in lights on how affective and cognitive processes affect employee perceptions. It is the attitude that employees possess concerning organizational social policies and practices, rather than the policies and practices themselves, which are likely to affect employee behaviors and motivations (Nishii et al., 2008).
If employees believe that the organization’s social policies and practices will positively contribute to their personal learning and development, or that they align with their own values and beliefs, then employees are more likely to commit to the full implementation of the firm’s policies, processes, and practices. Employees are said to make judgments about the efforts of their organization’s ability to achieve CSR policies and agendas (Rupp et al., 2006).
2.3.4 Institutional Theory
Institutional theory argues that organizations and their HRM activities are shaped by the institutional contexts in which they operate (Greenwood et al., 2008). Suggest that institutional theory consists of socially constructed norms, decrees and principles that guide the decisions and motivations of an organization. These socially constructed elements are referred to as institutional pressures that originate from stakeholders and the employees, with organizations said to become ‘isomorphic’ and conform to these pressures to signal their fitness to stakeholders as a socially responsible entity (Greenwood et al., 2008).
By taking a conformist approach, organizations are said to: reduce the likelihood of external demands for strict accountability; improve prospects of securing additional funds and resources; avoid being socially censured, and increase their chances of professional survival (Greenwood et al., 2008). Human resource management is a crucial ingredient of these socially constructed elements. In addition, human resource practitioners are the key messengers of the firm’s commitment to CSR policies, overtly demonstrating the firm’s values and instrumental in the development and facilitation of a respected organizational climate. It guides and assists researchers to determine what factors influence a firm’s decision to embrace green HRM. According to Dimaggio and Powell (1983), understanding the broader contexts and internal and external pressures placed on organizations today, sheds light on why firms place so much meaning on management and OB concepts – such as green HRM implementation.
2. 4 Green Human Resource Functions (Practices) Future Direction
GHRM is a program which helps to create green workforce that can understand and appreciate Green culture in an organization. Such green initiative can maintain its green objectives all throughout the HRM process of recruiting, hiring and training, compensating, developing, and advancing the firm’s human capital (Dutta, 2012). The Human Resource Department of a organization is capable of playing a significant role in the creation of sustainability culture within the company (Harmon et al., 2010). HR processes play an important role in translating Green HR policy into practice (Ahmed, 2015 cited in Renwick); therefore, human capital and its management are instrumental to the fulfillment of environmental management objectives. In order to make sure that the organization gets right employee green inputs and right employee green performance of job, it is indispensable that HRM functions are adapted or modified to be green (Opatha ; Arulrajah, 2014). This section, briefly describes the major functions of HRM activities which recognize with the sustainability and the natural environment at the workplace and also provide opportunities for research in future.
2.4 .1 Green Job Design and Analysis
In general, job descriptions can be used to identify a number of environmental protection related task, duties and responsibilities (Renwick et al, 2013). As higher level executives have to take greater responsibility for green initiatives, green goals should be incorporated in managerial job descriptions. While developing the competency model for talent, an organization can include environmental consciousness as one of the core competencies required of employees (Sharan and Prasad, 2013). Nowadays several companies have designed environmental concerned new jobs in order to focus exclusively on environmental management aspects of the organizations. From the perspective of HRM, it is really a valuable initiation and practice to protect the environment. On the top of this, some companies have involved in designing their existing jobs in a more environmental friendly manner by integrating environmental centered duties and responsibilities (Ahmed, 2015 cited in Arulrajah).
2.4.2 Green Recruitment and Selection
Attracting high-quality staff is the major HR challenge in the “war for talent” (Renwick et al., 2013). In line with this, Ahmed (2015 cited in Haltom et al) in their study on turnover and employee retention claim that the most important valuable dimensions of HR and sustainability are retention and satisfaction. Firms are now starting to recognize the fact that gaining reputation as a green employer is an effective way to attract new talent (Stringer, 2009). Green recruitment is process of recruiting new talent who are aware of sustainable process, environmental system and familiar with words of conservation and sustainable environment. Green recruitment makes it sure that new talents are familiar with the green practices and environmental system that will support the effective environmental management within the organization (Ashraf et al, 2015 cited in Wehrmeyer). Besides it deals with recruitment without the use of paper that minimizes the environmental impact. To complete the paper free recruitment process digital method like online application form, online interviews or telephonic interviews are conducted to decrease the waste of paper, fuel consumption and travel related environmental impacts (Vimala and Shriyanka (2018). It also incorporates use of technology in the organization such as database management system; internet can be very helpful in reducing the wastage of resources (Yadav (2017).
Green job candidates, who comprise a large section of talented and knowledgeable manpower, use Green criteria when applying for jobs, and, therefore, companies having green practices can attract good talent. This means organizations have to ‘practice green’ in order to build a Green Employer brand. Preference in selection should be given to candidates who are ‘Green aware’, which becomes a part of the HR acquisition policy (Sharan and Prasad, 2013).
2.4.3 Green HR Training and Development
Training, development and learning plans should include programs, workshops and sessions to enable employees to develop and acquire knowledge in environment management, green skills and attitude. Job rotation in green assignments should become an essential part of career development plans of talented green managers of the future. Training contents should be developed to increase employee competencies and knowledge in Environment Management. Extensive use should be made of online and web-based training modules and interactive media as training tools for not only for environment management training but for other functional areas as well. Environment- related aspects of safety, energy conservation, waste management and recycling can become the focal points of green training.
Training managers should rely more on online course material and case studies rather than on printed handouts, thus further reducing use of paper (Sharan and Prasad, 2013). This HR practice will empower workers to comprehend the need for pro-environmental action and to become equipped with the key knowledge and skills needed to undertake environmental behaviors and environmental initiatives (Zibarras, Coan 2015). Many organizations are providing environment related training to their employees. The Land Rover Group provides environment training to their employees according to their job. They take regular briefings and circulate newsletters to communicate with their staff about environmental issues (Vimala and Shriyanka (2018).
2.4.4 Green Performance Management and Appraisals
Performance management should be evaluated based on environment-related criteria. None the less, using performance management in environmental management presents the challenges on how to measure environmental performance standards across different units of the firm, and gaining useful data on the environmental performance of managers (Addin and Islam, 2015). A performance management system to supplement green HR practices is, therefore, demanded to develop environmental performance standards and indicators (Vimala and Shriyanka, 2018). In line with this, Sharan and Prasad (2013) state systems should be developed to include ‘green’ targets in the key performance areas. This can be translated into Green performance standards and Green behavior indicators which should serve as yardsticks in performance appraisal of employees at all levels. Green targets, goals and responsibilities should be established for managers and achievement of managers in accomplishing Green results should included in appraisals. This can be initiated by linking performance evaluation to green goals and tasks specified in the job description (Vimala and Shriyanka (2018).
HR managers can enhance environmental performance of employees when they integrate environmental performance indicators into performance management systems by setting environmental objectives, monitoring such behaviors, and evaluating achievement of these objectives (Sharma, Gupta 2015). Some organizations have established environmental management information systems, environmental audits, installed corporate-wide environmental performance standards, and green information systems/audits to follow data on environmental performance (Renwick et al. 2013; Arulrajah et al. 2015). For example, Infosys has moved to performance-based contracts, effectively forcing project teams to practice integrated design by withholding fees if performance goals are not met. If the work is not done as required by the contract, they lose 25% of their fee. Green goals of Infosys include 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2017, 50% reduced energy consumption, carbon neutrality and net-negative water consumption by (Vimala and Shriyanka (2018)
2.4.5 Green Compensation and Benefit
Compensation and reward management should recognize contributions in green management (Sharan and Prasad, 2013). In regard to GHRM, green reward systems should be designed to reflect management’s commitment to environmental performance while reinforcing and motivating employees’ pro-environmental behaviors (Zibarras ; Coan, 2015). Monetary green rewards can include different bonuses and incentives, profit-sharing programs, and increase in pay for reaching environmental goals (Daily, Huang, 2001), while non monetary rewards can include promotion and recognitions. Recognition-based rewards for employees can be for individual, team and divisional contributions to reducing waste, companywide team excellence awards, giving employees opportunities to attend green events, paid vacations, time off and gift certificates (Renwick et al. 2013).
Rewards and compensation can be assumed as potential tools for supporting environmental activities in organizations. In accordance to a strategic approach for reward and management, modern organizations are developing reward systems to encourage eco-friendly initiatives embarked upon by their employees. The statement is supported by a survey conducted in the England that estimated that 8% of firms were rewarding green behaviors with various types of awards and/or financial incentives (Phillips, 2007) and these practices can be effective in motivating employees to generate eco-initiatives (Ramus, 2002). In a similar study by Forman and Jorgensen (2001) on the importance of employee participation in environmental programs, it was observed that employee commitment to environment management programs was increased when they were offered compensation to discharge their duties in relation to environmental responsibility.
2. 4.6 Green Employee Relation
The GHRM literature suggests that environmental management demands employee engagement and participation in the workplace. In green human resource management employee relations and union support are critical in implementing corporate environmental management initiatives and programs. Some companies have strategies (joint consultations, gain sharing, recognizing union as a key stakeholder in environmental management) to get the anticipated support of trade unions for corporate EM initiatives. It is a good practice to increase firm’s environmental performance. Renwick et al, 2013) suggested certain green employee relations and union management practices. Employee participation in Green initiatives increases the chances of better green management as it aligns employees goals, capabilities, motivations, and perceptions with green management practices and systems. Involving employees in environmental management has been reported as improving environmental management systems such as efficient resource usage (Florida& Davison, 2001) reducing waste; and reducing pollution from workplaces (Kitazawa & Sarkis, 2000).
Employee must be involved in the process of decision making as best suggestion could come up with any level of employee. Quality circle concept can also be a part of innovative practices, where people voluntarily sit together & discussing the problem & finding various alternatives to sort out it effectively. This circle would also help the organization for growth prospects in terms of issues pertaining to both organization sustainability & environment sustainability. It involves health & safety aspects of the employees.
Several researchers in their studies concluded that individual empowerment positively influences productivity and performance ( Renwick, 2008). Eco-friendly ideas should be received from all employees as it encourages their interest in environmental issues and initiates best use of applying their skills. The HR officers need to influence the management to create a participative work environment where the staffs are free to put up their ideas on green issues. This means the achievement of green outcomes will mainly depend on employees’ readiness to collaborate (Collier ; Esteban, 2007), as often, the best ideas come from the employees who work in that particular area (Casler et al, 2010).
2.5 Green HR Initiatives
Green HR initiatives help companies find alternative ways to cut cost without losing their top talent. Green HR refers to the contribution management policies and activities towards this broader agenda. It’s an important issue for HR as it is a vital concern for all employees, as well as customers and other stakeholders. It’s also one in which HR can have a big impact without causing much expenditure, good environmental management can improve sales and reduce costs, providing funding for green benefits to keep staff engaged. The best practice for greening the business are be the use of computerized HRIS ; online applications streamline hiring efforts and reduce paper usage ; costs. The following are some the HR initiates carried out by organizations
Ecological Printing (Paperless office)– Eco graving documents and toner utilization are together clear reason for green problems, other than reducing graving and paper usage is awfully tough particularly for those firms with vast numbers of personnel, every by means of their own behavior and pursuance. The excess printing process is the major reason for the production of dioxide emission & toner wastage. (Siram & Sabu, 2017). Now days, with introduction of IT, the consumption of paper has been reduced and E-business and E-learning have changed the methods and procedures at workplace converting them into paperless office. Paperless office is a work place where the use of paper is either limited or eliminated via converting important documents into automated workflows ( Ahmed, 2015 and Chander, 2017).
Conservation of energy- in the office has the potential for a great environmental impact. In an effort to offer more efficient and eco-friendly services, offices around the world have implemented several energy conservation initiatives to reduce the environmental impact. The HR department at the England arm of Sky has started a campaign where the employees are asked to turn off PCs, TVs, and lights when leaving, to use 100% renewable energy, and introduced solar lighting (Davies ; Smith, 2007), Whereas the HR department of other British organizations is emphasizing upon their travel policy which promotes car sharing and the increased use of public transport (Simms, 2007 cited in Ahmed, 2015). Furthermore, organizations are also promoting the extensive use of energy started light bulbs and fixtures which undoubtedly consumes at least two-thirds less energy than regular ones (Ahmed, 2015).
Green building- the organizations round the globe are considerably opting for green building as their workplace and offices as an alternative to traditional offices. The phenomenon is quite trend setting as Green buildings fulfill certain criterion for reducing the exploitation of natural resources that are utilized in their construction. Furthermore, green buildings include enhanced features related to green practices such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and storm water management. It also serve as a policy for financial savings as the construction and engineering involve low cost (Ahmed, 2015)
Recycling and waste disposal Reprocess – the methodology of processing used up materials (waste) into new and useful products. Recycling reduces the use of raw materials that would have been otherwise used to produce new products such as recycling of glass paper; plastic, metal trash and manufacturing waste materials should be adopted. Consequently, this practice saves energy and reduces the amount of waste that is thrown into the dustbins, thereby making the environment cleaner and the air fresher. Currently, several organizations are implementing recycling program to increase the amount of recycled products and decrease the amount of waste (Ahmed, 2015). Food canteen should also adhere to zero wastage policy ( Siram ; Sabu, 2017).
Ecological Inspection (Green Auditing) – to diminish utilization and save money most regional utilities present companies free onsite consultation. It is recommended to get better filling, fit time keeper to robotically turn off the lights. Cooperates be supposed to fit LEDs, solar power to light eclectic bulbs plus heat water and capable electrical appliance such as air cooler, water and energy products etc (Siram ; Sabu, 2017 ; Chander, 2017).
Movability and Adaptability -“Nature of capacity the company requirement is varying from prior ability and the company inquires for a set of betterment such as movability & adaptability at job. So, the company needs to walk on the direction to acquire the ability, we require to formulate confidents on how the set of talent attainment please to the capacity”. Workers can do their work from their residence, but they want to discuss with their superiors.” Some companies basically provide free refreshment drink to their workers, but they are not supposed to use any non reusable material like paper, plastics. Workers may use cups, which is reusable and they will keep themselves (Siram & Sabu, 2017).
2.6. The Challenges of Green Human Resource Management
It is challenging to build up sustainable organization and particularly GHRM. There are setbacks that advancement requires overcoming. This section will brief some the obstacles found in the existing literature. Aggarwal and Sharm (2014) describe few challenges of implementing green human resource management such as difficult to change employees behavior in short period of time, the variation among employees motivation to participate in the promotion of green human resource practices in the organization, developing green human resource management as a new corporate wide culture as a heavy process, recruitment and induction of green employees with quality failed as changing task, difficulty of measuring the effectiveness of green human resource practices in employee behavior. HRM professionals encountered with being expected to provide the essential green structure, green process, green tools and green thinking to make the best selection and develop the future of green idea to the organization.
Jafric (2012) carried out a study to explore the barriers to the implementation green human resource policies: the main barriers are the cost of implementing green programs followed by the cost of maintaining the program, lack of support by the management and lack of support by the employees. Another study undertaken by Fayyzi et al (2015) to identify the barriers of green human resource management practice implementation in the oil industry, they found factors that hinder the implementation green human resource management and ambiguous of green values followed lack of green human resource infrastructure, lack of understanding of green policies, the un availability of human resource structure, lack of organizational leadership support. Further more staff resistance had the lowest importance.
In the other study, Yusoff et al (2015) determined to the challenges of green human resource management in to the technical issues, demographic barriers and receptivity, persuasion skills, attitude or receptivity to wards change, funds difficult to measure and feel mental changes difficulty perceived low attachment to sustainability and difficult to ensure critical sustainability in their private life.
2.7 Empirical Studies (Evidences)
Different studies have been conducted in various parts of the world pertaining GHRM. Among other things, study conducted by Bhutto & Auranzeb (2016) on “Effects of green human resources management on firm performance: in Pakistan firms” confirmed that a firm’s GHRM practices contribute to the improvement of performance. When human resource functions are aligned with organizational environmental policy, the organization can achieve superior performance. In line with this, a study carried out by Joergensen and Forman, (2011) in Denmark, which proved that green motivation programs are effective tool for increasing employee participation in pro-environmental initiatives.
Research undertaken by Langat and kwasira,( 2016) revealed that there is a strong positive and significant relationship between green abilities and environmental sustainability & the implementation of rigorous recruitment and selection of employees, performance-based appraisal system, introduction of training programs aimed at increasing the employees environmental awareness and development of new technical and management competencies have a basic importance for fostering environmental improvements. I n a similar way, Cheema and Farhen (2015) states there is strong positive and significant association of overall green HRM practices with employees performance. Besides, Owino & Kwasira (2016) study revealed that Green occupational health and Green performance management have major influence on environmental sustainability. When the Firm implemented green occupational health and safety programs, the firm was able to improve its environmental sustainability to a great deal.
Research Design and Methodology
3.1 Research Design
This study will be employed case study design. Case studies are appropriate for describing and expanding the understanding of a phenomenon and are often used to study people and programs. A case study can provide an in- depth understanding of the context of Green human resource management. This is done in part to be able to create thick description of a case in so as to express what the reader would have experienced if he or she had been present (Stake, 1995 cited in Sarah, 2010). In contrast to other research methods, case study places the inquirer into the field in order to observe and record, impartially what is happening but concurrently scrutinizes its meaning and redirects observations to refine or corroborate those meanings. This focus on interpretation is basic and relies on data analysis as well as the researchers own understanding of his or her experience and the existing literature (Sarah, 2010).
Case studies produce rich subjective data, can bring to light variables, relationships and processes that merit further exploration and provide good stories, human interest and a more humanistic method of delivery compared to the quantitative method. In keeping with other approaches in qualitative research, the case study aims to comprehend the case in depth, and in its natural setting, identify its complexity and its context. It also has a holistic focus, aiming to preserve and understand the wholeness and unity of the case. Therefore, the case study is more a strategy than a method (Punch, 1998). Besides, case study method is an appropriate method for this study since it will allow a fleshing out of the missing detail from the few individuals that have gathered the perspectives of human resource professionals.
3.2. The Study Sample or Selection of Participants
The present study will be employed purposeful sampling, which is based on the assumption that the investigator wants to discover, understand, and gain insight and therefore must select a sample from which the most can be learned. Based on this fact, the researcher select Jimma University of all other higher education in Ethiopia since he is more familiar and recruit human resource director, employee safety and health expert and academic affairs director of the university on the bases of personal experiences as they are more responsible and familiar with the issue under the study. Besides, cafeteria manager and hospital medical director will be incorporated in the study intentionally as these divisions are more prone to environmental pollution due to the nature of the work in which release more waste products and toxic chemicals and to corroborate the information that will be collected from aforesaid bodies to see what is happing on the ground.
3.3 Data Collection Instruments
Data collection for this qualitative case study utilized multiple sources. The primary source of data collection will be via the use of semi-structured in-depth interviews. Supplementary data will be collected through workplace observations in which the researcher acts as a non-participant observer as well as secondary data from the organizational policy, strategy, plan and reports. The resulting information created a triangulation or convergence of sources regarding to green human resource management. The convergence of these three sources provided a scaffold for data analysis.
3.3.1 Semi-Structured Interviews
The most significant sources of information for this case study will be participant interviews. Participants will be interviewed at different times until analysis saturation will be reached. Interviews allow the researcher access through words to an individual’s constructed reality and interpretation of his or her own experience. In-depth interviews enable the researcher to seek an understanding of participants’ perspectives of their experiences or situations through repeated face-to-face encounters. This proposed study intends to gather data through in-depth interviews which are semi structured. All interviews will be arranged to accommodate the participants’ schedules and will be conducted in locations selected by each participants. This helps to guarantee that participants will be as comfortable as possible throughout the interviews. The collection of data will be conducted in two separate stages. The first stage involved interviewing key management personnel including human resource management directorate, employee safety and health experts & the academic affairs directorate of the university. Interview questions will be open-ended and semi-structured to ensure that participants can contribute a greater understanding of the organization’s position on green policies, processes and practices in the workplace. The second interview will also explore each participant’s perspectives of situations observed by the researcher during observations and document analysis regarding to the GHRM practices in the university.
3.3.1 Work place Observations
The researcher will also requests permission to observe the university’s natural settings. Observations will be utilized to validate interview data or investigate disparities between the actions undertaken by the participants and the meanings they have attributed to that situation in formerly undertaken semi structured interviews. To obtain a better understanding of participants’ perspectives, to enable the comparison of findings and particularly to be employed as a means of guiding participants to reflect upon their perspectives, the researcher prepare checklist and will carry out campus observation including cafeteria, hospital and others based on it. Field notes will be taken to record observations during workplace visits. A systematic range of approaches to observation will be adopted that include descriptive, focused and selective observations.
3.3. 3 Document Study
Documents from the university will be consulted to support this research. These documents will cover organizational materials such as policy and procedures relating to the Green human resource management, environmental and curriculum design. In addition various documentary materials will be gathered. These will include job descriptions, selection criteria, and training and development manuals, performance measurement criteria used by the human resource management of the university. These documents will also include minutes of meetings which may be internal between college personnel or with external stakeholders. These documents will supply insight to the decision making processes in the colleges which strengthen changing practices. Views documentation as an enrichment for interview data, providing the conceptual density that is required for authentic research
3.4 Method of Data Analysis
Data for this qualitative case study will be analyzed manually through categorical aggregation (Creswell, 2009). Information from each interview transcript will be assigned a paragraph number, divided into categories, and listed chronologically as “Category Notes” using a standard word-processing program; each of the five participant interviews resulted in to various categories. The individual categories for each participant will then placed on visual aid, coded with related paragraph and transcript reference numbers to allow for overlaps between participant comments, and analyzed for word and phrase repetitions. Next, all categories will be merged into certain meta-categories. Finally, the coding for information in each of the five meta-categories will be developed into conventional paragraphs in order to incorporate fully illustrative quotes from the participants. The process of combining quotes from all five participants resulted in a reference document entitled “Regrouped and Expanded”. This preliminary aggregation of quotes served as a companion to the individual interview transcripts. A recursive process of discovering both convergent and divergent patterns in the opening document and the interview transcripts resulted in the final themes developed for this qualitative case study.
3.5. Validation Strategies
This proposed study seeks to enhance its credibility & accuracy through a number of mechanisms: long-term involvement with participants; triangulation; member checks; peer examination; and the provision of thick, rich descriptions. Long-term involvement and multiple contacts with participants during the study will enable perspectives to be revisited. Triangulation will be sought through the use of multiple sources of data collection. Member checking and peer examination will be utilized during the phases of data analysis and conclusion drawing to verify the credibility of emerging findings. Through the use of thick, rich descriptions, the researcher will aim to provide information to ensure that the research findings are consistent with the data collected. Methodological triangulation will also used, this meant asking another person in the university about their explanation of the participants work.
3.6 Assumptions of the Research
There will be a number of assumptions that will be served as catalysts to this investigation, including the following: I assume the participants will be able to express their personal and professional experience through insights, thoughts and impressions regarding to GHRM and their response will provide valuable source of knowledge about the contribution of Green Human resource management for the environmental sustainability. Participants will be interviewed at the university in familiar surrounding so as to promote a relaxed and open interview. Another assumption will be participants will have sufficient experience and a researcher can participate in close collaborative conversation to take somewhat the perspective of the other and use constant comparison analysis to move from the subjective toward neutral observation.
3.7 Ethical Considerations
As to Punch (2000) asserts, “All social research involves consent, access and associated ethical issues, since it is based on data from people about people”. Interviews of participants will meet the general protocols and procedures for interviewing and oral history. The proposed study will make sure that informed approval is obtained from participants. They may need full information about the research including the reasons they have been chosen to participate. Participants’ privacy, confidentiality and secrecy will be guaranteed. Consent forms and a covering letter will be provided. Similarly, the university being used for the case study will need to give permission for access to archival material and documents useful to the study. The school will be assured that findings will be used properly, as will their reporting and dissemination.