Date of Graduation

12-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Claretha B. Hughes

Committee Member

Bobbie Biggs

Second Committee Member

Myria Allen

Keywords

Energy Conservation, Human Resource Development, Pro-Environmental Behavior

Abstract

The estimates for potential energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings in office buildings are significant. Reports show that energy wasting behavior in office buildings such as computers being left on at night and on weekends result in billions of dollars lost annually and GHG's being emitted needlessly. The estimated potential for energy savings ranges from 20 to 50 percent. Despite the potential for significant energy savings, a review of the literature revealed that there are relatively few studies of energy conservation interventions in office buildings. Most of the research on energy conservation has been done in households. There is agreement in the field of energy conservation that providing behavioral interventions based on evidence and theory could be instrumental in tapping the potential energy savings and GHG reductions in office buildings.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine employee attitudes and perceptions of energy conservation as well as the prevalence of energy conservation behaviors among faculty and staff at a Midwestern University. This study demonstrates the use of two theoretical constructs, Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior and Vroom's Expectancy Theory, to examine employee attitudes and perceptions of energy conservation in an office setting in order to recommend HRD interventions designed to reduce energy use and associated GHG emissions. The study revealed a high degree of awareness of issues related to energy consumption as well as positive attitudes toward the environment in general and toward energy conservation specifically. In addition, there is a high degree of endorsement of the University's energy conservation goals. The study demonstrated that energy conservation attitude and endorsement of the University's goal are significantly correlated with energy behavior. The data on energy conservation behaviors revealed opportunities for improvement in specific areas such as turning off computers and monitors at the end of the day. The study also found that faculty and staff differ in three areas: energy issue awareness, perceived behavioral control, and outcome expectancy.

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