June 14-15, 2019 at Waseda
On June 14 and 15, 2019 Waseda University Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management in conjunction with Group for Research on Organizations and the Natural Environment (GRONEN) hosted an international research symposium and PhD focused on environmental management. The event was also supported by Waseda University Research Council and Waseda Innovation Laboratory. GRONEN is an international network of scholars researching management and the natural environment. In addition to many local participants, six environmental management scholars from Europe and USA as well as 10 international PhD students participated in the event.
The research symposium focused on behavioral insights for environmental management in organizations was held on 15 June. The symposium featured excellent presentations from four scholars applying a behavioral perspective to understand decision and cognitive processes of businesses and important stakeholders.
The first presentation was by Sally Russell from University of Leeds. Her study, titled “Sustainability change agents’ experiences of climate change: An exploration of emotion and coping” used novel physiological measurements of professionals working on climate change issues to better understand their mental processes and emotions associated with this important set of environmental issues. The results identified several categories of individual responses to the topic of climate change.
The next presentation was from Shigeharu Okajima at Osaka University of Economics. Professor Okajima presented results of an experiment on how hotel guests respond to interventions intended to encourage reduction of energy use during the stay. Findings from the study, titled “Monetary and Moral Incentives of Behavioral Interventions: Field Experimental Evidence from Energy Conservation?”, revealed important differences in effectiveness between monetary and non-monetary incentives.
The third presentation of the day was by Judith Walls from University of St. Gallen. Professor Walls’s study, “The Pride and Joy—and Guilt—of Trophy Hunting: Emotional Narratives in a Contested Industry” used in-depth field work that was wonderfully global in its coverage but topically focused on areas of Africa where trophy hunting is most prominent. Her findings about the differences and intensity of emotions from those supportive of and those opposed to the practice of trophy hunting help provide a foundation for examining the micro-foundations of institutional practices.
Ryo Takahashi of Waseda University made the final presentation of the day. His study, "How to stimulate environmentally friendly consumption: Evidence from a nationwide social experiment to promote eco-friendly coffee”, was based on an incredible large scale experiment on how customers respond to different types of information provision on the environmental benefits of coffee served by over 10,000 vending machines in Japan. Interestingly, professor Takahashi found that the benefits of providing information about environmental aspects of coffee were localized—influencing purchase of more environmentally friendly coffee at vending machines located in community (social), but not in non-community (non-social) spaces.
The day concluded with a truly international panel discussion of how the insights from the day’s presentations open new doors for research on the critical research questions confronting scholars and managers about improving environmental performance. The panel was chaired by Professor Tobias Hahn of ESADE and featured Professor Toshi H. Arimura from Waseda University, Professor Nicole Darnall of Arizona State University, Professor Shigeru Matsumoto from Aoyama Gakuin University and Professor Jonatan Pinkse from Alliance Manchester Business School.