Overcoming the Social and Psychological Barriers to Green Building

Ross School of Business Working Paper No. 1106

Organization & Environment, 21(4): 390-419.

47 Pages Posted: 21 May 2008 Last revised: 28 Mar 2015

Andrew John Hoffman

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Rebecca Henn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Erb Institute

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

The green building movement has made tremendous achievements in the past decade. Technological advances in building systems and materials have made revolutionary possibilities in reducing the environmental impact of buildings. Economic achievements in price reductions have made these advances more feasible. And yet, adoption of green buildings within the construction and design fields remains low. The strongest barriers to a more rapid deployment of green buildings are now psychological and social. This paper surveys the form of these barriers, discussing them on three levels - individual, organizational, and institutional. The paper concludes with two categories of strategies for overcoming them: as entrepreneurial opportunities and a challenge for change. In this latter category, seven specific strategies are elaborated: issue framing, targeting the right demographic, education, structural and incentive change, indemnifing the risk, green building standard improvements, and tax reform.

Keywords: Green building, social barriers, psychological barriers

JEL Classification: M14, N60, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Andrew John and Henn, Rebecca, Overcoming the Social and Psychological Barriers to Green Building (September 1, 2008). Ross School of Business Working Paper No. 1106. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1135236 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1135236

Andrew John Hoffman (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street, R4390
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734.763.9455 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.andrewhoffman.net/

Rebecca Henn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Erb Institute ( email )

Dana Building
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, MI 48109-1041
United States

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