Volunteer environmental steward leadership : a developmental perspective on paths to engagement

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Argue, Briony
action logic
constructive developmental theory
Environmental Leadership
environmental stewardship
Environmental volunteer
Steward leadership
This case study explores the meaning making systems of a small group of volunteer environmental steward leaders. Research consists of: 1) an assessment of participants' action logic using the Maturity Assessment Profile; and 2) interviews to identify experiences and interpretations informing participants' environmental stewardship. Results of participants' interviews reveal: 1) foundations of environmental sensitivity, 2) negative emotions associated with environmental stewardship work, 3) deeper meaning attributed to stewardship work, and 4) leadership behaviour associated with environmental stewardship. Additionally, the study draws connections between environmental steward leadership behaviour and participants' stage of action logic. Study results revealed 2 of 9 participants measured at the later-stage action logic, while 7 of the 9 measured at the conventional stage. These results may suggest environmental stewardship behaviour is becoming increasingly part of the societal norm. Finally, it recommends incorporating practices that support adult maturational development into environmental leadership programming.
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