Nudging Employees for Corporate Sustainability: A Systematic Evidence Map

Leonie Decrinis, Lucia A. Reisch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Organisations are increasingly under pressure to deliver on their promises of corporate sustainability. One approach is to enhance sustainable choices in the workplace. This chapter compiles knowledge from 51 articles (70 empirical studies) on behaviourally informed interventions (nudges) applied in organisations to promote employee sustainable behaviour across environmental, social and governance criteria. We systematically map and synthesise information on (a) target persons, (b) barriers to behaviour change, (c) nudging types and mechanisms, and (d) behavioural outcomes into a coherent framework. Our findings highlight notable gaps, methodological limitations and imbalances in prior literature. With most attention directed to the effects of social norms, there is a lack of studies evaluating affective nudging mechanisms and emotional barriers to behaviour change. Regarding the behavioural outcomes, existing studies mainly focus on changes in workplace routines concerning resource conservation and employee wellbeing. Key knowledge gaps relate to high-impact decisions that enhance the sustainability of work products and processes. We also note a lack of cross-cultural studies. To address the identified issues, we establish an agenda for future research, focused on four main challenges with practical relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Nudges and Society
EditorsCass R. Sunstein, Lucia A. Reisch
Number of pages22
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9781035303021
ISBN (Electronic)9781035303038
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Nudging
  • Employee sustainable behaviour
  • ESG
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Evidence map
  • Workplace interventions

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