With an increase in worldwide environmental awareness, organizations are influenced by internal and external stakeholders to incorporate the ecosystem as a prominent component of their mission. It is unknown how universities are structured for Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP). Four universities located in northeastern United States participated in the qualitative multiple-case study. Four individuals from each case were interviewed representing key stakeholder groups of Purchasing and Sustainability Departments, leadership, staff, faculty, and students. Literature pointed to four areas of influence: organization and department design, leadership, buyer behavior, and environmental activities. The instrument used to gather data was the interview using open-ended questions focused on four constructs. From the same opening question, discussions led into participant's area of expertise along with personal outlook.
Data relationships for all cases became evident during the cross-case analysis. Ten relationships labeled were determined at the highest level of analysis. Many findings were consistent between the cases including purchasing department objectives and organizational interaction, leadership style, communication methods, student participation, and organizational overall commitment. Inconsistent findings among the cases included environmental programs, budgets, and academic investment. Overall findings were used to develop a model to achieve similar results for other internal functions coupled with external goals. Use of the model opens up a diverse range of research, such as EPP at other universities, EPP in other organizational types, and an internal focus influenced by an external goal.
|Adviser||John R. Latham|
|Subjects||Management; Environmental management; Organization theory|
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