Ability, Motivation, Opportunity Enhancing Human Resource Management and Corporate Environmental Citizenship: What's the Connection?

By Chin, Tay Lee; Yean, Tan Fee et al. | Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal, January 2017 | Go to article overview

Ability, Motivation, Opportunity Enhancing Human Resource Management and Corporate Environmental Citizenship: What's the Connection?


Chin, Tay Lee, Yean, Tan Fee, Yahya, Khulida Kirana, Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal


Introduction

Environmental issues have become a great concern to the whole world when the media reports on air pollution, water pollution, waste disposal, global warming and so on (Muhammad Hassan and Muhammad Abid, 2014). The environment has been widely damaged due to industrialization (Goosen, 2012; Taborianski and Prado, 2012). Therefore, corporations are expected to emphasise on environmental activities due to the demand from the government, public and environmental groups. As a result, the concept of "corporate environmental citizenship" is developed. Corporate environmental citizenship has to be implemented as an essential practice in organisations (Ozen and Kusku, 2009).

Corporate environmental citizenship means organisations' voluntary involvement in environmental activities. Corporate environmental citizenship helps organisations to gain several business benefits such as lower operating costs, more efficient operations and increase revenue (Erwin, Wu, Khanna, Jones and Wirkkala, 2013). Moreover, corporate environmental citizenship attracts environmental consciousness among customers and lead to stronger sales performance (Yu, Coulson, Zhou, Wen and Zhao, 2011). Hence, organisations must enhance corporate environmental citizenship for protecting the natural environment.

This is true for construction companies. Construction companies have been accused for the largest portion of pollution compared to manufacturing, service and agriculture companies (Environmental Quality Report, 2013). Besides that, in recent years, the numbers of construction projects have increased dramatically from 2009 to 2014 due to the 'Malaysian Plan 2020' (Sasitharan, Ismail, Ade and Nur, 2013). This has alerted the government to encourage the construction companies to increase their corporate environmental citizenship. Various guidelines have been introduced, for example the Green Building Index (GBI) and Green Technology Policy.

Nevertheless, the issue of how far construction companies have achieved corporate environmental citizenship is still debatable and unclear. Construction companies' agreement with the corporate environmental citizenship does not ensure that they will implement it. According to Nazirah (2010), many construction companies agree with the corporate environmental citizenship. However the construction companies still do not understand the meaning of corporate environmental citizenship and few have implemented it. Thus, it is crucial to conduct research on the implementation of corporate environmental citizenship by construction companies.

Moreover, previous studies on corporate environmental citizenship in the construction companies commonly focus on the environmental construction practices (Nazirah, 2010; Wan Nazdri, Zulkifli Muhammed and Dani Salleh, 2012) and construction waste (Ismail, Sasitharan and Ade, 2014; Siti, Nadira, Azrizal and Janidah, 2012). In other words, these studies focus on the technical aspects of corporate environmental citizenship. They do not consider the organisational factors (e.g human resource management practices) that influence the corporate environmental citizenship. Therefore, this study examines the influence of human resource management practices on corporate environmental citizenship.

The practices of human resource management include enhancement of ability, motivation and opportunity. These practices play important roles to achieve corporate environmental citizenship because they influence the behavior of organisational members to contribute in environmental activities. For example, providing financial support (e.g. commissions for promoting green products and services) and non-financial rewards (e.g. free bus passes) to encourage the employees to participate in environmental activities. Ahmad (2015) finds that human resource management practices influence corporate environmental citizenship better than other factors such as marketing, finance, information technology and accounting. …

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