First Advisor

Bob Sinclair

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Organizational change, Sustainable development, Corporate culture.



Physical Description

1 online resource (190 pages)


Motivated by an assumption of and concern about the unsustainable trajectory of modern human civilization, the purpose of this study was to develop a measurement tool to assist organizations striving to align their operations with principles of sustainability. The relevant context is established with consideration of the dimensions of environment, society and economy, as well as their interconnections, with an eye towards sustainability. Some of the challenges and opportunities presented to organizations by the current unsustainable trajectory are reviewed. The social constructs of culture and climate (organizational and psychological) are discussed as important to understand organizational life. I propose the notion of a sustainability climate to represent factors within the organization that are theorized as important for successfully integrating the principles of sustainability into organizational decision-making and routine behaviors.

Items were developed to tap the theorized constructs and were administered to a population of university employees (N = 252). The study explored construct validity of these measures through exploratory factor analysis, assessment of internal consistency, convergent and divergent validity, and criterion validity. Results provide preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of the sustainability climate factors (perceived top-management support, shared vision, employee involvement, rewards, sustainability norms), and factors of sustainability beliefs (personal understanding, supportive attitude, and positive engagement). These factors' power predicting the criteria, sustainability role expectations, sustainability role behaviors, and environmental stewardship demonstrates the potential to improve upon the instrument. Limitations of the present study are discussed and appropriate application of the Sustainability Climate Survey is explored.


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