This research focuses on improving individuals’ pro-environmental behaviors related to information technology and system use. To do so, we draw on and extend goal-setting theory by comparing three goal interventions: goal-setting, goal-setting plus implementation plans, and goal-setting with both implementation plans and visualization of success. Two longitudinal studies examine individuals’ selfset goals: the first examines employees’ computer-based electricity usage in the workplace over six weeks and the second utilizes a diary approach method over four weeks to examine the effects of different goal setting conditions on students’ environmental outcomes. Both studies find that setting goals increases pro-environmental behaviors. However, rebound effects can occur when interventions are removed. Visualization of success appears to reduce this rebound effect and we suggest that future research continue to investigate methods for reducing rebound, including the roles of values and multiple goals on the efficacy of goal-setting. This paper contributes to Green IS research in several ways: conceptually (by responding to calls for more theory-based research), methodologically (by measuring objective computer-based energy usage in study 1 and by utilizing a diary method in study 2), and practically (by demonstrating the effectiveness of visualization to goal setting).
Staples, Sandy; Webster, Jane; and Lv, Shunan, (2017). "COMPARING GOAL SETTING APPROACHES TO BOOST COMPUTER-RELATED PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIORS". In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017 (pp. 1264-1280). ISBN 978-989-20-7655-3 Research Papers.