Green human-resource management towards sustainable organizations: a case of KwaZulu-Natal higher education institutions.
Mtembu, Vuyokazi Ntombikayise.
MetadataShow full item record
The Human Resources Management Division, as a strategic partner and one of the important functions in any organisation, can make a significant contribution to ensuring environmental sustainability in the organisations where they operate. Higher education institutions with their power and potential to bring awareness, educate, and influence the nation’s thinking, can provide an invaluable contribution to natural resource conservation. The aim of the study was to explore how the Human Resources Management division can contribute to the crucial cause of natural resource conservation sustainability through the greening of organisations. This was a mixed method study conducted amongst Human Resource Practitioners in operational and management levels from three institutions of higher education. Data were collected using face-to-face interviews and questionnaires. Results indicated that Human Resources (HR) Practitioners had a limited understanding of the concept ‘Green HRM’. Green HR activities in the institutions were mainly applied in recruitment and performance management systems where technologically advanced, green and resource-efficient HR methods were used. Regarding engagement of employees on greening issues, training, and compensation, results showed that nothing much is being done in these activities to incorporate ‘Green HRM’ principles in institutions. There was no established ‘green’ organisational culture in the HR divisions and in institutions at large. The study recommends that green clauses should be incorporated into the vision and mission statements of the instititutions as well as in organisational and HR policies. Management vision and commitment are key in ensuring success of greening strategies. All employees should be consulted and engaged in every stage of the greening process to ensure their buy-in and commitment. There should be financial and human capital investment in green projects to ensure their success. Establishing partnerships with the private sector is also very important as a source of benchmarking and sharing of ideas in greening projects.