Understanding project champions' ability to gain intra-organizational commitment for environmental projects

Thomas F. Gattiker, Craig R. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


A key enabler of environmental projects is the ability of the project champion to gain commitment to the project from other stakeholders in his or her organization. This paper develops a model of commitment-gaining success that is based on intra-organizational influence theory. The model also includes project payback, customer pressure, government regulation, top management support and the project champion's position in the organizational hierarchy. The model was tested using survey data from 241 environmental professionals describing their attempts to gain the buy-in of purchasing managers, operations managers, industrial engineers and others for environmental projects. The results (obtained from hierarchical regression analysis) show that intra-organizational commitment is positively associated with the project champion's influence behavior-in particular, the champion's use of three influence tactics (inspirational appeals, consultation and rational persuasion) and avoidance of a fourth tactic (ingratiation). Commitment is also positively associated with project payback and with top management support for the environment and negatively associated with environmental regulation. The paper contributes to the OM knowledge base on environmental project implementation by bringing new theory to bear on the topic, by focusing on individual-level, rather than organization-level, variables and by taking a confirmatory, large sample approach which complements extant exploratory research. In addition, the paper contributes to the OM field by evaluating various antecedents to cross-functional integration. The results also provide specific guidance to those who champion environmental projects within their companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-85
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-functional interface
  • Environmental issues
  • Implementation
  • Questionnaires/surveys/interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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