Purpose – The information sources employees in one Fortune 100 organization draw on to learn about sustainability are identified. The linkages between knowledge about sustainability, perceptions of the organization's involvement in sustainability initiatives, and interest in learning more about sustainability are investigated. Design/methodology/approach – Employees ( n =1,952) completed an online survey investigating what they knew and thought about sustainability, and the sources of their information. The information sources investigated included external association sources, media sources, supply‐chain sources, interpersonal sources, and intraorganizational sources. Findings – Important external information sources include professional/industry associations, faith‐based institutions, and supply‐chain partners. Important internal sources include supervisors, company meetings, and the company sustainability report. Those who think sustainability is important to their organization's long‐term success were interested in learning more about sustainability. Awareness of the organization's sustainability initiatives is related to the belief sustainability is important to the organization's success. Research limitations/implications – Limitations include a cross‐sectional study, single‐item measures, and nominal data. Practical implications – Companies launching sustainability initiatives need to understand and manage the information sources their employees utilize. Originality/value – This is a large empirical study that focusses on information sources and employee perceptions involving sustainability.
Journal of Communication Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 8, 2013
Keywords: Corporate communications; Sustainable development; Communication; Organizational behaviour; Environment management
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