Corresponding Author

Ingeborg Flagstad


This study explores the processes of establishing a green organizational climate in small-scale companies. Previous studies have primarily focused on factors associated with pro-environmental behaviour in large organizations. The role of a green organizational climate—specifically, the interactional processes involved in the construction of a green climate—has largely been unexplored. Entrepreneurial small companies constitute an ideal arena in which to study the initial phase of greening processes. The present study examined the process of establishing a green organizational climate in seven small-scale Norwegian companies. This article presents a systems model that was developed to analyse how processes at different levels interact in the shaping of the green climate. The design was a longitudinal mixed-methods approach, consisting of focus-group interviews conducted in the field, a questionnaire and follow-up interviews with the leaders. Findings indicate that the construction of a green climate had a strong practise-based approach. The company founders were driven by environmental values; they sparked the initial green measures, influenced the employees—directly and indirectly—and also invited dialogue around and co-construction of the green climate. Frequent face-to-face interactions within the microsystem of the leaders/employees were decisive to the development of the green climate. The present study contributes to the understanding of the process of greening an organization: specifically, how green practice relates to the construction of a shared green climate. Contrary to previous research and theorizing, this study indicates that it is possible to “go green” without a superordinate green strategy.