SuReFood Interdisciplinary Workshop #18
Cultivating a responsible dining mindset: Pro-environmental voice behavior by employees in catering industry
Li Lin, associate professor of College of Economics and Management at Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, P. R. China
Food waste is an urgent matter of public concern across different countries. The way food is wasted, however, varies in different nations. According to a 2020 survey by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, at least 34 million tons of food are wasted in restaurants in Chinese cities every year. Restaurants rely on frontline employees to guide consumers. During informational and emotional interactions with customers, frontline employees can guide customers towards rational consumption by giving pro-environmental advice. For example, “That’s enough food for you.” or “We provide a packing service.” These are voice behaviors that are likely to raise customer awareness to reduce food waste in a timely manner. This study introduces a novel construct called “pro-environmental voice behavior”. It refers to frontline catering employees providing consumption suggestions that aim to minimize negative environmental impacts. Three separate studies were conducted. In study 1, Semi-structured interviews were conducted to clarify the construct of pro-environmental voice behavior. In Study 2 develop the initial version of the measurement scale and verified the validity and reliability of the measurement. In Study 3, a time-lagged survey approach was utilized to investigate the link between values (face value and Pro-environmental value) and pro-environmental voice behavior. The results indicate that people who value the concept of face tend to engage in moral disengagement behaviors, thereby reducing their likelihood of participating in pro-environmental activities. However, the results did not support that the sense of moral obligation (personal norms) plays a significant role in explaining the relationship between pro-environmental value and pro-environmental voice behavior.
About the author:
Dr. Li Lin-Schilstra is an associate professor in the College of Economics and Management at Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU). She is also a visiting researcher in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group at Wageningen University and Research (WUR). She graduated from Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2018, where her research focused on the field of human resource management, specifically examining leadership behavior. Following the completion of her PhD, Li Lin-Schilstra actively participated in the SuSI project (Sustainability in pork production with immunocastration) as a postdoc in WUR. While involved in the SuSI project, her research expanded beyond her initial focus, encompassing comprehensive stakeholder analysis within the European pork production industry. Her research shed light on the significance of stakeholder engagement and effective communication strategies for achieving sustainable outcomes. Moreover, Li Lin-Schilstra’s involvement in the SuSI project allowed her to delve into the fascinating realm of consumer food behavior. Her research contributions have been published in reputable scholarly journals such as Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business Ethics, Animals, Meat Science, Sustainability, and Animal.
Fan Li, associate professor at College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China
Alita, lecture at School of International Development and Cooperation, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China