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Dissertation Presentation: Enhancing Human Motivation in Group Settings Relative to Climate Change

  • Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center 29270 County Highway G Ashland, WI 54806 (map)
Climate Change Oakland edu.jpg

Please join

Dr. Peggy Burkman

at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center 

where she will share the results of her recently completed dissertation.

“Enhancing Human Motivation in Group Settings
Relative to Climate Change”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Doctoral Dissertation Research
Submitted to the
Faculty of Argosy University, Phoenix Campus
College of Business
In Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Education


We have understood the science behind climate change for well over a century and realized proof of rising greenhouse gases over 50 years ago.  However, significant action on this ‘wicked issue’ is lacking in spite of abundant information regarding its seriousness.  This research sought to understand motivation regarding climate change and the feasibility of enhancing lower levels, especially when working with groups in an organizational setting.  Mixed methods research occurred with both an online and a local group.  The online group completed two surveys, while the local group completed the same surveys, engaged in participatory action research, and repeated the surveys.  One survey, developed for this research included action items, associated rationale, and climate change perceptions, was tested with the online group.  The second instrument was the Six Americas audience segmentation tool (Maibach et al, 2011) which aligns groups from most to least motivated regarding climate change. Participatory action research included education, organizational carbon footprinting, and brainstorming solutions and resources required.  

Results from the online group indicated significant relationships between actions and rationale, perceptions, and audience segments, which supported use of the surveys with the local research group.  Action research results indicated that individuals transitioned from less to more motivated audience segment categories, and exit interviews showed increased motivation.  Collectively this information supports use of the motivation survey and incorporation of audience segmentation tools into mixed groups.  Finally, results indicated it was possible to increase motivation relative to climate change and the specific process utilized was successful.