Opportunities for Conversion to More Sustainable Practices by Houses of Worship through Team Performance Enhancing Strategies that Include Leadership with Facilitative Skills

Carolina Del Carmen Saiz, Antioch University, New England

Carolina Del Carmen Saiz

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-0258-9763


This research focused on assessing the performance of teams of volunteers in Houses of Worship (HOWs) in the State of Massachusetts that are successfully planning, advancing and completing sustainable initiatives. The sustainable initiatives included solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, city public parks cleaning projects, efficient windows installations, efficient lighting fixtures installations, and building insulation improvements. The goal of this research was to assess the dynamics of a total of eight successful teams, including the relationships among team members and their leaders with facilitative skills that they perceived were instrumental to their effective and efficient performance. The role of team leadership was more relevant than anticipated, and it presented statistical interdependence with team interpersonal processes such as: collaboration, cooperation, cohesion, communication, coordination, trust, and especially conflict resolution. Based on this knowledge and qualitative data from interviews, a set of guidelines on “best practices” was produced, containing recommendations on how to build and manage HOW teams to conduct local sustainability projects. Key words: sustainability best practices, team, leader with facilitative skills, House of Worship (HOW), solar energy, energy efficiency.