How Canadian homes builders construe their decision to participate in a voluntary environmental program
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This research is a study of sensemaking using Personal Construct Theory to examine the constructs that Canadian home builders use when they think about their decision to participate in a voluntary environmental program (Built Green Canada). The primary data collection method is the Repertory Grid Technique. Findings from 32 interviews revealed a number of themes that decision makers used to construe and make sense of their decision to participate in the program. The most prevalent views related to seeing the decision as a function of being a leader or innovator in the industry and using the program as a marketing and sales tool. Furthermore, themes that were seen as important related to legitimacy/authenticity/integrity and environmental impact. This study also assessed which drivers/pressures were important to decision makers in making the decision to join the program. Important drivers/pressures included handling competition, appealing to customers, acquiring technical knowledge, obtaining publicity, building corporate culture/identity, and obtaining third party certifications. Of particular significance was an emergent finding related to the level of involvement or participation in the program. This emergent finding of active and passive program participants was also analyzed and discussed leading to a model of the decision to participate in a voluntary environmental program. This applied research is significant as it assists in refining the emergent field of environmental decision making and planning. The results are also useful for industry, voluntary environmental program organizations, and government policy makers to provide them with a better understanding of participant motivations leading to program improvements and better marketing of these programs.