Using Storytelling to Promote Pro-environmental Behaviour in Cornish Businesses.

Arnold, Carolyn (2017) Using Storytelling to Promote Pro-environmental Behaviour in Cornish Businesses. Doctoral thesis, University of the Arts London in collaboration with Falmouth University.

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Abstract / Summary

Despite the recognised effects of anthropogenic climate change, global measures have not been extensive enough to mitigate the risk of severe and irreversible impact (IPCC 2014: 17). In the UK, business emissions are slow to improve (DECC 2016), with some business “cultures” being less socially critical of environmentally damaging behaviours than domestic equivalents. To date, little research has focused on the actions of smaller businesses, particularly in a regional context, although region-specific policies are suggested as being most appropriate in terms of influencing environmental behaviour (IPCC 2014; 26). Regional identities must also be considered, as the promotion of behaviours which complement self-identity are likely to be most effective (Moser and Dilling 2007: 71).

Numerous studies have found that normative messaging can influence behaviour (Goldstein et al 2007: 15), and although fewer studies have taken place in business contexts, there is evidence that if people perceive themselves to be part of a “business community” they are likely to be influenced by its norms (Dashwood 2012). Perceived injunctive norms are particularly influential, and stories are effective at conveying approval and disapproval (Boyd 2009: 64). Stories are also generally prosocial, and their ability to promote cooperation can be used in planning processes to enhance understanding and depolarise issues (Throgmorton 2005: 128; Wilson and Lewis 2013). Fields that explore norms and stories have made crucial findings on the effective promotion of behaviour change, however,there is little research which explores the interplay between these approaches. This study provides a critical intervention in the field of storytelling, by bringing together normative messaging with the creation of stories, to assess potential influence on a set of small businesses in Cornwall. The research examines the effectiveness of injunctive normative storytelling for promoting pro-environmental behaviours, demonstrating the ways in which storytelling could play an important role in the creation of future region-specific mitigation policies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Normative social influence Social responsibility of business.
Subjects: Business
Geography & Environment > Climate Change
Geography & Environment > Cornwall
Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lucy
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 16:44
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3040

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