Developing Action Strategies For Sustainable Living Amongst Employees At A Uk University

PhD Thesis

Mifsud, A (2016). Developing Action Strategies For Sustainable Living Amongst Employees At A Uk University. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Law and Social Sciences
AuthorsMifsud, A
TypePhD Thesis

The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 – 2014) has
undoubtedly raised the discourse on the principles of Education for Sustainable
Development (ESD) and provided a platform for healthy debates on infusing ESD in
curricula and ways to overcome the barriers that exist to implementation
programmes. Furthermore, the decade has also strengthened community based
ESD activities and initiatives.
This research study addresses a gap in research within the field of ESD by exploring
the routes to the design process of ESD programmes for employees at their
workplace. The research also attempts to investigate the potential of infusing
thinking skills in ESD training programmes for employees. Primary data was
collected from a higher education institution in the UK through in-depth interviews
and casual conversations with a set of employees. The findings suggest that a
design process for employee programmes on ESD should be needs based and
context specific. Whilst it is acknowledged that employees have an important role to
play in driving the organisation’s sustainability strategy forward, the study has found
that not only are ESD training programmes for employees non-existent, but neither
are employees effectively invited to participate and engage in shaping the
sustainability strategy of the organisation.
The inclusion of thinking skills in ESD training programmes may assist employees
feel adequately empowered to engage in needs based ESD training programmes
relevant to their role at work and to their life beyond the workplace. The study
highlights the role thinking skills have in cultivating a thinking culture within an
organisation as part of its response to the challenges of sustainable development
today. Yet the research findings suggest employees’ awareness on the benefits of
thinking skills training is low. The research has found that employees lack the
confidence, competency, motivation and time to engage in an exercise whereby they
are able to identify their own training needs for ESD programmes. On the other
hand, however, there is clear evidence that employees feel consistent and genuine
senior management commitment would be a key requirement if ESD training is adopted as a route for the organisation to attain its sustainability targets. Finally,
results from the study indicate that employees are of the opinion that bespoke ESD
training for employees would most likely lead to behavioural change.
Keywords: education, sustainable development, employee/staff training, thinking
skills, organisations, behavioural change

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Print01 Jan 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Feb 2018
Funder/ClientUniversity of Malta
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