Beyond external pressures: How work conditions harm employees' social and environmental responsibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The political and economic sanctions, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have made work and life difficult for Iranians. In this adverse external work environment, this study aims to understand how internal adverse working conditions such as workplace bullying and a hostile work climate may affect workers' emotional exhaustion and socially responsible behaviors, both inside and outside the workplace. Data were collected longitudinally from 304 full-time employees in Iran using four survey waves over 12 months. To deepen our understanding of the variables and context of the study, we conducted supplementary interviews with 12 participants. The results show that overall workplace bullying increases emotional exhaustion, which, in turn, decreases two types of socially responsible behaviors among workers: (a) sustainability-oriented behaviors within the workplace and (b) societal behaviors outside of the workplace. Furthermore, we found that a hostile workplace climate increases workers' emotional exhaustion, which, in turn, reduces their sustainability-oriented behaviors but not their societal behaviors. We have discussed the managerial implications of these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4292-4309
Number of pages18
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • adverse working conditions
  • economic sanctions
  • environmentally friendly behavior
  • socially responsible behavior
  • workplace bullying
  • workplace hostile climate


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