1 In this study we discuss the psychological mechanisms which favour social behaviour of
individuals in society and its importance for social cohesion. We ask for the meaning of core social
competencies as a sustainable contribution to quality in education and social cohesion in society.
2 The mechanisms leading to showed social competencies are described as interplay of
cognitive aspects of language competencies, the ability to change perspective, emotional and
motivational aspects as self-regulation, respect, empathy, self-concept, self-esteem, and value attitudes
as, for example, attitudes toward violence, diversity and participation. Theses personal competences
lead to social behaviour when interfacing with an environment of accountability, fairness and
meritocracy. Therefore enhancing core social competencies is not only an educational task but refers
to all levels of society, especially social and labour politics.
3 The study shows that these core social competencies are linked to quality education and lead
to a better academic achievement. The paper describes experiences with teacher training aiming to
enhance the core social competencies of teachers and students. Hints for effective evaluations are
given. The study highlights recommendations for different stakeholders.
4 The study is based on a mix-method-design, including literature review of related research,
case studies of different approaches in the field and experts’ comments. Beside case-study experiences
from literature, the study is related to two field studies taken for this paper. One study describes a
long-time program in Cameroon, attempting to work on the autonomy and self-responsibility of
students and teachers in order to reach higher quality of education. The other study is about a program
in Rwanda, working on a post-genocide pedagogy, focussing on an active and participatory education.
Both programs worked with teacher training but used different methodologies (in Cameroon, teacher
experts groups; in Rwanda trainings for the entire team of schools). Both had been evaluated by an
out-come evaluation, including tests.
The strong effects of descriptive normative feedback (“how you compare to others”) on an individual’s electricity consumption have been documented in the IS literature. Here, we extend prior research on reference group effects (“whom to compare with”) by defining the relevance of the reference group in terms of similarity in contextual factors as opposed to personal characteristics. Specifically, we manipulate the spatial proximity of reference groups and test whether population density moderates the effects of feedback. In a field study with 560 energy customers, we find that reference groups that are close in terms of geographical proximity are more effective than more distant groups. However, population density does not moderate this effect. Designer of green information systems should therefore use reference groups that are close to the energy consumer with regard to geographical proximity, but they do not need to tailor the intervention to the energy consumer’s location.
The escalating rate of energy consumption underpins the need to set goals that promote a reduction in CO2 emissions. In 2011 the transport sector contributed 23% to the total EU CO2 emissions; road transport alone was responsible for 71% of this 23% compared to 12% from aviation transport. Corporate car drivers drive, on average, three times more than private car users in Europe (21,500 miles). An improvement in their fuel efficiency, by encouraging sustainable driving using eco-feedback technologies, has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions and promote fuel cost savings of 1% to 8%. This paper evaluates, through an explorative structured analysis, these findings further by defining recommendations for an organization intending to use eco-feedback technologies to reduce the overall corporate fleet's CO2 emission. The theoretical analysis of these findings, through the lens of the Feedback Intervention Theory and appraisal of corporate car drivers' extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, revealed that it is imperative to raise driver's awareness of their fuel consumption. Drivers' concerns regarding management monitoring leading to control and punishment, if their fuel efficiency has not improved, must be addressed. It is essential that an organizational roll-out is not associated with punishments, but focused on motivating employees by providing extrinsic motivation through realistic goal setting and constructive feedback.