Environmental literacy and Self-efficacy: Influence on managerial decisions for adoption of environmental practices in small and medium hotels

Valentina Veselinova Kostadinova

Student thesis: Master thesis


The increase of tourism volumes inevitably leads to a negative impact on the natural environment. The hotels are major consumers of resources (energy, water), as well as produce considerable amounts of wastes. However, few properties take care of their environmental footprints. This problem is very distinctive among the small and medium hotels, which experience many difficulties in addressing issues related to the environment. Consequently, the purpose of this thesis is, taking into consideration the importance of the SMH’s manager and his personal characteristics, to identify and examine the individual variables (factors) that have the potential to influence managerial decision-making and thus reflect in the hotel’s strategic response to environmental conservation. Thus, the current research project chooses to focus on two individual variables- environmental literacy (a broad concept) and selfefficacy (a specific concept). These two concepts are examined in an explorative study including ten managers of SMHs in Bulgaria. The applied research method is a qualitative one, namely indepth interviews, as it is considered most appropriate for investigation of worldviews and perceptions of the participants. Constructed on a theoretical base, a framework is proposed, to serve as a template with which to examine the role and interaction of the chosen concepts, and to explain how these together can influence intentions to act and corresponding responsible environmental behavior. The analysis of the data reveals some interesting findings about the relation between the factors and their display in practice. Furthermore, the framework attempts to explain the occurrence of the so called “attitude-behavior gap”. The research findings show, on one hand, low levels of responsible environmental behavior in SMHs in Bulgaria and, on the other hand, low level of managerial eco-literacy, as well as the weakened as a factor self-efficacy. Because the strength of the two individual factors is diminished, they lose their power to motivate pro-environmental behavior and thus, the negative external “situational” factors take prevalence. As conclusion, the evidence show that there is potential in the two individual factors as they represents an inside-out approach for behavior change. However, the factors need to work in combination and to exhibit higher levels, in order to exert strong influence on decisions and action. Finally the examination undertaken in this research and its findings may be beneficial to practitioners in the area that can cooperate with manager and help them by elaborating a personal development approach for enhancing eco-literacy and boosting self-efficacy.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages127