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Jung, W. L., Kim, Y. M., & Kim, Y. E. (2018). Antecedents of adopting corporate environmental responsibility and green practices. Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 397-409. doi:http://dx.doi.org.
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility
and Green Practices
Jung Wan Lee1 • Young Min Kim2 • Young Ei Kim3
Received: 15 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published online: 20 January 2016
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract This paper examines the antecedents of organizational
commitment for adopting corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices in the case of the
logistics industry in South Korea. Seven hundred and
eighty employees and top management from logistics
companies were sampled. The data were analyzed using
factor analysis, structural equation modeling techniques,
and one-way analysis of variance. The results showed that
social expectations, organizational support, and stakeholder
pressure were the important antecedents for the adoption of
corporate environmental responsibility and green practices.
In the path analysis, social expectations had the greatest
impact on both stakeholder pressure and green practice
adoption. Moreover, we found that the higher the job titles
were, the more willing they were to adopt green practices.
This indicated that the current top management of Korean
logistics companies is well aware of being mandated to
make a commitment to corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices.
Keywords Corporate social responsibility
Environmental responsibility Green practices Logistics
industry Organizational support Social expectations
The broader social concern of corporate social responsibility
and environmental responsibility has currently
become a dominant theme. Having a culture of proactive
corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility
is quickly becoming a source of competitive
advantage for many companies. Meanwhile, the leaders of
major corporations worldwide are increasingly facing the
challenge of managing organizations that should meet the
expectations of a broad range of stakeholders and deliver a
return in line with these expectations at the same time. As a
result, practicing corporate social responsibility and environmental
responsibility have become the necessary
ingredients for a company’s long-term success. Eccles
et al. (2012) reported that high responsibility organizations
are characterized by a governance structure that explicitly
takes into account the environmental and social benefits of
the company, in addition to financial benefits. They also
found that companies that manage their environmental and
social benefits have superior financial benefits and actually
create more value for their shareholders.
The logistics industry plays an important role in the
Korean economy. These firms provide logistics services for
their customers including warehousing, transportation,
inventory management, order processing, and packaging.
With the fast growth of the Korean economy, the demand
for logistics services has been growing rapidly. The total
economic contribution rate of the logistics industry to the
& Jung Wan Lee
Young Min Kim
Young Ei Kim
1 Administrative Sciences Department, Boston University, 808
Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2 Department of International Trade and Logistics, Seoul
Cyber University, Solmaero 49 Gil 60, Gangbuk-gu,
Seoul 142-700, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Business Administration, Seoul Digital
University, 320 Dokmak-Ro Mapo-Ku, Seoul 121-040,
Republic of Korea
J Bus Ethics (2018) 148:397–409
gross domestic product (GDP) of Korea was 2.8 % in 2010
and the total economic cost of logistics services to GDP
was 9.1 % in 2010 (National Logistics Information Center
of Korea 2011). Thus, the logistics industry in Korea is
perceived as one of the least productive industries and a
dirty industry that provides lower value jobs in terms of
their education level and wealth and also produces the most
environmental pollution. To transform the logistics industry
from the least productive industry to a ‘‘better’’ one and
from a dirty industry to a clean one, the Korean government
has formed a master plan to support the logistics
industry by increasing the industry’s economic contribution
up to 5.0 % by 2020. Meanwhile, the government aims to
reduce the logistics cost of the economy down by 5.5 % by
2020 and reduce 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas
emissions by 2020 (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and
Transport of the Republic of Korea 2011). In the meantime,
the negative environmental impact of the logistics industry
has been an important issue in Korea and many logistics
and transportation services usually result in several negative
environmental impacts including air pollution,
improper waste disposal, and excessive fuel consumption.
(Jo 2010; Kim and Lee 2011; Kim and Yoo 2012). In this
regard, the Korean government has stipulated several new
environmental policies, and logistics companies accordingly
have begun to adopt best environmental management
Many logistics companies in Korea, however, represent
small businesses—typically defined as firms with 50 or
fewer employees—paying little attention to environmental
issues thus far while limiting consuming resources for the
effort and generating both greenhouse gases and industrial
waste (Kim 2012; Kim and Han 2011). For these reasons, the
government advocates taking a more long-term view for this
process, instead of carrying out its mandated mission of
strengthening regulations on the environmental pollution
and vehicle emissions standards. The government has been
taking positions that favor an industry’s voluntary actions,
industry trade associations, and government watchdogs. It is
time that the logistics industry makes more of an effort to
adopt ‘‘better’’ environmental management practices.
Various explanations have been proposed as to what
factors influence firms’ adoption of green practices.
Stakeholder pressure, environmental regulation, company
size, top management’s characteristics, and quality of
human resources are relevant environmental and organizational
variables frequently appearing in the literature
(Etzion 2007; Gonza´lez-Benito and Gonza´lez-Benito
2006b; Lin and Ho 2011). Although organizational and
environment regulatory factors have been taken into
account in several studies on green practice issues (Gadenne
et al. 2009; Williamson et al. 2006), much still
remains to be examined empirically about how
organizational factors and environment regulatory factors
influence green practice adoption for the logistics industry.
As applying new environmental standards into corporate
operations requires exploring new resource combinations
and deploying existing resources in new ways, green
practice adoption involves implementing new or modified
processes to reduce environmental pollution, which can be
regarded as an innovation process (Henriques and Sadorsky
2007; Rothenberg and Zyglidopoulos 2007).
In order to fill this research gap, this paper sought to
identify antecedents influencing the adoption of corporate
environmental responsibility and green practices for
logistics firms in Korea. This paper examined the main
components of corporate social responsibility dimensions,
namely social expectation, organizational behavior, and
stakeholder theories, in order to determine organizations’
behavioral intentions to adopt corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices. This study assumed that
social expectations, organizational support, and stakeholder
pressures for the environment may have an impact on the
adoption of corporate environmental responsibility and
Social Expectations for the Environment
Social expectation theory refers to a body of social theories
that are concerned with how our socially received expectations
motivate our behavior. In this regard, people tend to
adopt social norms and to change their behavior to meet the
expectations that society provides. In this way, social
expectations for the environment provide ethical norms to
form moral judgments about the environment. Social
expectations may play a role in how corporations perceive
their environmental obligations and responsibilities. In this
way, we may have a better understanding of how socially
received expectations motivate business organizations’
behavioral intentions. Corporate social responsibility,
which is mirrored in social expectations, indicates that
corporations have an ethical responsibility to treat the
public and the environment with dignity and respect.
Iyer (2006, 2009) suggested that the relationship between
corporations and society is essentially dynamic and heterogeneous,
thus it is difficult to characterize the relationship in
terms of the social contract concept. However, the economic
aspect of corporations is finely intertwined with society.
Torugsa et al. (2013) found that proactive corporate social
responsibility involves business practices adopted voluntarily
by firms that go beyond regulatory requirements in
order to support economic and environmental sustainability
and thereby contribute positively to society. Mueller et al.
398 J. W. Lee et al.
(2009) reported that corporations implement social and
environmental standards as instruments toward corporate
social responsibility in supply chains and such standards
increase legitimacy among stakeholders. That being said,
examples of corporate environmental responsibility include
carbon emission reduction policies, green supply chain
policies, energy and water efficiency strategies. Arend
(2014) reported that small businesses can build a competitive
advantage with their environmental practices, while some
tradeoffs exist between activities aimed at financial performance
and at improving environmental performance. Baker
(2003) reported that proactive corporate social responsibility
leads to corporate environmental responsibility in utilizing
both internal and external resources in bringing harmony to
society. Peng and Lin (2008) reported that local community
expectations for environmental responsibility have a positive
effect on the level of green practice adoption of
Organizational Support for the Environment
Much of the literature discusses a variety of organizational
characteristic variables—such as top management’s leadership
skills, quality of human resources, organizational
culture, and organization size—which influence their
environmental strategy (Etzion 2007; Gonza´lez-Benito and
Gonza´lez-Benito 2006b). Among others, sufficient organizational
resources and qualified organizational learning
capabilities are two relevant organizational characteristics
advancing innovation (Jeyaraj et al. 2006), environmental
benefits (Kim 2012; Lin and Ho 2010), and green practice
adoption (A´ lvarez-Gil et al. 2007; Lee 2008; Lin and Ho
2011; Zhu et al. 2008).
Organizational support refers to the extent to which a
company supports its employees to use a particular technology
or system that influences innovation. Stawiski et al.
(2010) found that corporate social responsibility is bene-
ficial because it improves employees’ perceptions of the
company. When a company has conducted corporate social
responsibility initiatives, employees are more proud and
committed to the organization (Brammer et al. 2007).
Stawiski et al. (2010) also found that employees’ perceptions
of their organizations’ concern for society and the
environment were linked to their level of organizational
commitment. That is, the higher an employee rates his/her
organization’s corporate citizenship, the more committed
he/she is to the organization. In this regard, the top management
plays an important role; the central task of top
management is to acquire resources and allocate them
efficiently so that the company is able to adopt green
practices to achieve an environmental competitive advantage
(Gonza´lez-Benito and Gonza´lez-Benito 2006a).
Ensuring the availability of financial and technical
resources for innovation has positive effects on the adoption
of innovation (Lee et al. 2005).
Adopting green practices is, to some extent, a complicated
process requiring cross disciplinary coordination and
significant changes in the existing operation process (Russo
and Fouts 1997). Adoption requires intensive efforts in
human resources and depends on the development and
training of tacit skills through the employees’ involvement
(del Brı´o and Junquera 2003). Employees with competent
learning capabilities will be easily involved in training
programs that can improve companies’ innovative capacities
and further advance green practice adoption. The degree to
which an organization is receptive to new ideas will influence
its propensity to adopt new technologies (Frambach and
Schillewaert 2002). A company with higher innovative
capacity will be more likely to successfully implement an
advanced environmental strategy (Christmann 2000). For
the adoption of environmental responsibility and green
practices, therefore, organizational support is essential
because the resources required for adopting green practices
will be more easily available; thus, the employees will be
motivated to implement green behaviors.
Stakeholder Pressure for the Environment
Several stakeholders such as society, local community,
employees, management, and shareholders among others
have been discussed in the previous sections. Stakeholders
are individuals or groups who can affect a company’s
activities. They play an important role in organizational
decision-making processes and are widely involved in
various environmental issues. Stakeholder pressure is
regarded as the most prominent factor influencing a company’s
environmental strategy (Buysse and Verbeke 2003).
Wolf (2014) found that stakeholder pressure and sustainable
supply chain management contribute to an organization’s
sustainability performance. Konrad et al. (2006)
found that the relationship between corporations and
stakeholders promotes sustainable development. Hummels
and Timmer (2004) discussed the stakeholders’ need for
social, ethical, and environmental information and the
efforts of corporations to address this need.
Stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, government
regulatory bodies, and non-governmental organizations
have been discussed in the literature of environmental
management (Gonza´lez-Benito and Gonza´lez-Benito
2006a, b; Lai and Wong 2012). Chen et al. (2014) reported
that market orientation positively affects corporate environmental
strategy which has a positive influence on
environmental performance. In line with other advanced
nations in social responsibility and environmental ethics,
Korean consumers have a moderate yet increasing demand
for products that are ethically sourced, manufactured, and
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices 399
delivered across the supply chain. The results of the 2012
Greendex survey showed that Korean consumers are, in
fact, conscious of the environmental impact of their lifestyles.
South Korean consumers currently rank 2nd out of
17 on the Greendex Goods sub-index (National Geographic
2012), which means that they are most likely purchasing
environmentally friendly products. The expectations for
green products of Korean consumers can represent a
powerful driver for promoting green processes of Korean
logistics and supply chain operations.
Walker et al. (2014) found that regulatory stakeholder
pressure is positively related to types of environmental
proactivity. Lin and Ho (2011) found that regulatory pressure
has a significantly positive influence on the adoption of
green practices for Chinese logistics companies. Plenty of
research has revealed the positive relationship between
firms’ environmental activities and government regulatory
pressure (e.g., Christmann 2004; Lee 2008). Guay et al.
(2004) found non-governmental organizations also influence
corporate environmental conduct and so the overall influence
of non-governmental organizations is growing with
intended consequences for corporate environmental strategy,
governance, and performance.
Ruhnka and Boerstler (1998) reported that traditional
legal and regulatory pressure for corporate behavior are
overwhelmingly punitive in their intended effects, while
more recent governmental incentives to encourage voluntary
corporate self-regulation are much more positive in
their intended effects. Several researchers have suggested
that governmental incentives are more relevant factors
influencing technical innovation than regulatory pressure
(Lee 2008; Lin and Ho 2011; Scupola 2003). Rodrı´guez
et al. (2013) found governmental incentives are associated
with pollution prevention. Shu et al. (2014) found that
governmental support more strongly mediates the effect of
green management on radical product innovation than its
effect on incremental product innovation. The availability
of external resources will influence the adoption of green
practices (Aragon-Correa and Sharma 2003; Rothenberg
and Zyglidopoulos 2007). Governments can advance
technical innovation by encouraging such policies by providing
financial incentives and technical resources. The
government can increase its support by providing tax
incentives for alternative energy and environmentally
friendly technologies, and lower insurance premiums for
lower environmental risks (Lee 2008; Lin and Ho 2011).
Adoption of Corporate Environmental
Responsibility and Green Practices
Peters and Romi (2014) suggested that voluntary environmental
governance mechanisms operate to enhance a firm’s
environmental legitimacy, whereas corporate governance
mechanisms have a role in responding to stakeholders’
concerns about environmental risks. Lion et al. (2013)
reported that environmental impact assessments have
emerged as a key tool for businesses to manage the negative
impact of their activities on the environment. Gime´nez
and Sierra (2013) found that environmental governance
mechanisms and supplier assessment have a positive and
synergistic effect on environmental performance. Lannelongue
et al. (2014) reported that, while environmental
motivations based on the search for legitimation lead to
more incomplete styles of environmental management,
competitive motivations entail a more complete environmental
management, showing more effective environmental
performance of organizations.
Done correctly, companies have enormous potential to
effect change in their communities and the environment by
investing in corporate social and environmental initiatives.
Potential organizational benefits of adopting corporate
environmental responsibility and green practices include
reduced energy and natural resource consumption, reduced
waste and pollutant emissions, improved financial benefits,
increased company market value, increased corporate
image, and greater responsiveness to social expectations for
the environment (del Rı´o Gonza´lez 2005; Goldsby and Stank
2000; Murphy et al. 2006; Zhu et al. 2007). The benefits will
serve as motivation for business organizations to adopt their
environmental responsibility and green practices.
Hypotheses and Research Framework
Based on the evidence and findings from the previous literature,
we propose the following hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1 Social expectations for the environment are
likely to have a positive effect on organizational support
for the environment.
Hypothesis 2 Social expectations for the environment are
likely to have a positive effect on stakeholder pressure for
Hypothesis 3 Organizational support is likely to have a
positive effect on the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices.
Hypothesis 4 Stakeholder pressure is likely to have a
positive effect on the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices.
Hypothesis 5 Social expectations are likely to have a
positive effect on the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices.
Figure 1 displays a conceptual model and research
framework of adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices.
400 J. W. Lee et al.
Survey and Sample Characteristics
According to the statistics (The Korea Federation of Small
and Medium Sized Enterprises 2012), a total of 340,526
companies with 1,043,861 employees in the logistics
industry—including road transportation services, warehouse
services, storage, and packing services—registered
with the government as of December 2009: 8779 smalland
medium-sized enterprises (defined as firms with 50 or
fewer employees in Korea) with 450,572 employees registered,
208 large enterprises (defined as firms with 100 or
more employees in Korea) with 226,932 employees registered,
and 331,539 micro enterprises (defined as firms with
three or fewer employees in Korea) with 366,357
employees registered with the government. 95 % of companies
of the logistics and transportation industry in South
Korea are micro and small enterprises. The total number of
8779 small- and medium-sized enterprises with 450,572
employees is singled out as being fundamental in the
growth and development of this sector.
Of the 8779 small- and medium-sized enterprises, a mail
survey was conducted with the National Logistics Information
Center of Korea. 1500 sets of questionnaires were
mailed to 500 small- and medium-sized companies listed
on the logistics company directory of the National Logistics
Information Center of Korea. Of 824 filled out and
returned questionnaires in the mail survey, 44 cases were
removed from the dataset because they contained missing
data or outliers. The final sample size included 780 cases
that had no missing data and was used for the analyses. We
admit that there is a possible selection bias of 500 companies
out of 8779 companies and using mail surveys for
data collection is still questionable as to whether the survey
method is able to generate data that does represent the
entire population. It is said that all kinds of sampling
methods for data collection for this type of empirical
research inherently have some biases concerning representativeness
(Szolnoki and Hoffmann 2013). Table 1
provides the sample statistics.
Given that the model embeds complex relationships in
the path of adopting corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices, this study collected self-reported corporate
employees’ perceptions using a questionnaire. An
initial structured questionnaire was developed based on a
study of the existing literature (e.g., Kacmar et al. 1999;
Kim and Lee 2011; Lin and Ho 2011; Rao and Holt 2005;
Zhu et al. 2007) and the model’s hypotheses with 13 participants
in focus group interviews. The initial questionnaire
included 23 items related to various constructs
discussed in this study and 5 items that captured information
pertaining to respondents’ gender, age, company
location, job position titles, and work experience in the
logistics industry. The questionnaire was refined based on
the feedback and the initial analysis. A final questionnaire
retained 18 items related to the various constructs and 5
items for demographic information.
The principles of scale design and development are well
documented (e.g., Nunnally and Bernstein 1994), and they
describe methods of item selection, content validation,
construct validation reliability assessment, scaling, and
analysis. The sensitivity of data in measuring individuals’
perceptions and behavioral intentions in many different
cultural contexts poses a problem for the adoption of a
single superior scale due to limited data comparability
(Bartoshuk et al. 2005; Dawes 2008). For this reason,
different researchers have employed different scales in
their measurements of consumer perceptions and behaviors
as one size does not fit all. Therefore, a 5-point Likert type
Fig. 1 Conceptual model and
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices 401
scale was used in this study to be consistent with research
in a different cultural context and the response options in
this research ranged from (1) strongly disagree, and (3)
neutral, to (5) strongly agree, as noted in Appendix
Factor Analysis and Internal Consistency Reliability
Evidence of the effectiveness of our scale was examined.
Bartholomew (1996) and Basilevsky (1994) provided a
comprehensive description of scale development and validation.
Many methods of validation rely heavily on the
analysis of inter-item or inter-scale correlations. Construct
validity embraces a variety of techniques for assessing the
degree to which an instrument measures the concept that it
is designed to measure. This may include testing dimensionality
and homogeneity. Construct validation is best
seen as a process of learning more about the joint behavior
of the items and of making and testing new predictions
about this behavior. Factor analysis is an often-used key
technique in this process. In order to ensure the construct
validity of the measurement instrument, factor analysis was
employed in a two-stage process. First, exploratory factor
analysis with a varimax rotation procedure was employed
to identify underlying predictors based on an eigenvalue
cut-off of one. Second, confirmation factor analysis using
structural equation modeling techniques was employed to
confirm that the identified predictors comprised the items
correctly and reliably.
To identify underlying antecedents of green practice
adoption, factor analysis with a varimax rotation procedure
was employed. The component factor analysis was used to
uncover the underlying structure of a large set of items and
identified four components: component one with four items
‘‘social expectations’’ (eigenvalue = 2.731), component
two with three items ‘‘organizational support’’ (eigenvalue
= 2.014), component three with four items ‘‘stakeholder
pressure’’ (eigenvalue = 2.568), and component four
with four items ‘‘green practice adoption’’ (eigenvalue
= 2.348). This resulted in the retention of 15 items out
of 18, which represented the four components. Afterward,
the four components were used for the following analyses.
To test the appropriateness of factor analysis, two
measures, the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin and the Bartlett’s test,
were used. The Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin overall measure of
sampling adequacy of 0.802 fell within the acceptable significance
level at p\0.01. Bartlett’s test of sphericity of
4698.077 with 105 of freedom showed a highly significant
correlation among the survey items at p\0.01. The sum
of square loadings from the four components explained
64.412 % of the total variance of the data. The results of
exploratory factor analysis using principal component
analysis extraction methods are reported in Table 2.
Internal consistency reliability is a measure of how well
a test addresses different constructs and delivers reliable
Table 1 Survey and sample
characteristics Characteristics Classifications Frequency* %
Gender Male 556 71.3
Female 224 28.7
Company location Metropolitan city (Seoul) 636 81.5
Metropolitan city (Busan) 60 7.7
Large city (Kwangju) 40 5.1
Large city (Daejeon) 4 0.5
Others 40 5.1
Position titles Staff, low level 264 33.8
Associate, middle level 236 30.3
Manager 192 24.6
Director, Executives 88 11.3
Age group Under 30 years old 248 31.8
31–40 years old 392 50.3
41–50 years old 136 17.4
Over 51 years old 4 0.5
Work experience in the logistics industry Under 5 years 384 49.2
6–10 years 196 25.1
11–15 years 144 18.5
More than 16 years 56 7.2
* Sample size = 780
402 J. W. Lee et al.
scores. A more comprehensive description of scale development
and reliability is provided by Dunn (1989). Three
main reliability tests are split halves, Kuder Richardson,
and Cronbach’s alpha tests. These tests check that the
results and constructs measured by a test are correct, and
the subject, size, and response of the data set dictate the
exact type used. However, the most common method for
assessing internal consistency is Cronbach’s alpha. This
form of intra-class correlation is closely related to convergent
validity, i.e., the extent to which the items in a
scale are all highly inter-correlated. For example, in a
series of questions that ask the subjects to rate their
response between one and seven, Cronbach’s alpha gives a
score between zero and one, with 0.7 and above being
reliable. The test also takes into account both the size of the
sample and the number of potential responses.
The Cronbach’s alpha test is preferred in this study due
to the benefit of averaging the correlation between every
possible combination of split halves and allowing multilevel
responses. For example, the survey items were divided
into the four constructs. The internal consistency
reliability test provides a measure so that each of these
particular constructs is measured correctly and reliably.
The results of internal consistency reliability tests for the
four constructs of green practice adoption were reported as
follows: ‘‘social expectations’’ (4 items, a = 0.795), ‘‘organizational
support’’ (3 items, a = 0.719), ‘‘stakeholder
pressure’’ (4 items, a = 0.815), and ‘‘green practice
adoption’’ (4 items, a = 0.769). The detailed results of
internal consistency reliability tests, including item-total
correlation coefficient values, are reported in Table 2.
The confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation
modeling techniques was employed to confirm that the
identified antecedents fit the items correctly and reliably.
The results of confirmation factor analysis indicated that
single factor solutions fit the items acceptably. The corrected
item-total correlation value of each item to the
construct is presented in Table 2.
Structural Equation Model Estimates and Path
The analysis of moment structures was used for an
empirical test of the structural model. The maximumlikelihood
estimation was applied to estimate numerical
values for the components in the model. In the process of
identifying the best-fit model, multiple models were analyzed
because we were testing competing theoretical
models. From a predictive perspective, we determined
which model fit the data best, but sometimes the differences
between the models appeared small on the basis of
the fit indexes. When comparing non-nested models, the
Akaike information criterion fit index was used as our first
choice because the difference in the Chi square values
among the models cannot be interpreted as a test statistic
(Kline 2005), the root mean square of approximation fit
index as our second choice, and then the goodness-of-fit
index as our third choice.
The results of the analysis of moment structures generally
achieved acceptable goodness-of-fit measures. For
example, the index of the goodness-of-fit index (=0.927)
indicated that the fit of the proposed model was about 93 %
of the saturated model (the perfectly fitting model). The
Table 2 Results of factor analysis for survey question items
Item code Factor loadings Eigenvalue Extracted variance Construct name Item-total correlation Cronbach a
X201 0.756 2.731 18.209 % Social expectations 0.604 0.795
X202 0.803 0.638
X203 0.670 0.579
X204 0.740 0.605
X207 0.580 2.014 13.429 % Organizational support 0.509 0.719
X208 0.747 0.564
X209 0.780 0.558
X210 0.515 2.568 17.120 % Stakeholder pressure 0.512 0.815
X211 0.828 0.638
X212 0.885 0.752
X213 0.754 0.719
Y201 0.734 2.348 15.654 % Green practice adoption 0.588 0.769
Y202 0.724 0.609
Y203 0.730 0.558
Y204 0.743 0.565
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices 403
index of the normed fit index (=0.914) indicated that the fit
of the proposed model was about 91 %. The other goodness-of-fit
measures were as follows:
Model fit measures The minimum value of the sample
discrepancy (=894.434), degrees of freedom (=84), the
goodness-of-fit index (=0.927), the adjusted goodness-of-fit
index (=0.913), the parsimony goodness-of-fit index
(=0.905), the root mean square residual (=0.044), and the
root mean square of approximation (=0.038).
Baseline comparisons measures The Bentler–Bonett
normed fit index (=0.914), the Bollen’s relative fit index
(=0.902), the Tucker–Lewis coefficient index (=0.938), and
the comparative fit index (=0.946).
Parsimony-adjusted measures The parsimony ratio
(=0.905), the parsimony normed fit index (=0.872), the
parsimony comparative fit index (=0.895), the estimate of
the non-centrality parameter (=810.434), the Akaike
information criterion (=966.434), the Browne–Cudeck
criterion (=967.943), and the Bayes information criterion
(=1134.168). Table 3 displays the estimates of green
practice adoption using the structural equation model.
In testing Hypotheses 1 and 2, social expectations for
the environment had a positive effect on both organizational
support and stakeholder pressure for the environment.
The results in Table 3 showed a significant positive
relationship at a 95 % CI (p\0.01). Social expectations
for the environment had a positive propensity toward
strong organizational support and increased stakeholder
pressure for the environment. In the meantime, social
expectations for the environment had a positive and direct
effect on the adoption of corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices (p\0.01).
Hypotheses 3 and 4 tested the relationships between
organizational support and green practice adoption and
between stakeholder pressure and green practice adoption
(ps\0.01). Both organizational support and stakeholder
pressure positively and directly influenced the adoption of
corporate environmental responsibility and green practices.
In testing Hypothesis 5 that social expectations for the
environment had a positive effect on the adoption of
corporate environmental responsibility and green practices,
the result in Table 3 showed a significant positive relationship
at a 95 % CI (p\0.01). Social expectations had a
positive propensity toward green practice adoption of
corporations. In the meantime, social expectations for the
environment had a positive and direct effect on both
organizational support and stakeholder pressure.
Overall, the three components of social expectations,
organizational support, and stakeholder pressure for the
environment served as important antecedents for the
adoption of corporate environmental responsibility and
green practices. In the path, social expectations had the
greatest impact on both stakeholder pressure and green
practice adoption. In Table 3, the 0.557 total effect of
social expectations on the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices consisted of a
direct effect of 0.352 and an indirect effect of 0.205 via
organizational support and stakeholder pressure. Figure 2
displays the structural equation model and path diagram of
green practice adoption.
Demographic Differences in Green Practice
One-way analysis of variance was conducted to compare
means of the four constructs by job titles and positions of
the respondents. Table 4 shows statistically significant
mean differences in social expectations, organizational
support, stakeholder pressure, and green practice adoption,
respectively (p\0.01). The results in Table 4 showed that
the respondents with higher positions and titles had a more
positive perception of their commitment to green practice
adoption. The results meant that the current top management
of the Korean logistics industry was well aware that
they have been mandated to make a commitment to the
environment, environmental sustainability, greenhouse gas
emissions reduction, efficient use of energy and resources,
and corporate environmental responsibility and green
Table 3 Results of structural equation model estimates
Independent variable Path Dependent variable Regression estimates Standardized effects
Total Direct Indirect
H1: Social expectations ? Organizational support 0.477*** 0.477 0.477
H2: Social expectations ? Stakeholder pressure 0.470*** 0.470 0.470
H3: Organizational support ? Green practice adoption 0.202*** 0.337 0.202 0.135
H4: Stakeholder pressure ? Green practice adoption 0.147*** 0.523 0.147 0.376
H5: Social expectations ? Green practice adoption 0.352*** 0.557 0.352 0.205
Numbers in the cells are standardized coefficient values. Probability values for rejection of the null hypothesis of zero coefficient are employed at
the 0.05 level (*** p\0.01)
404 J. W. Lee et al.
Discussion and Policy Implications
The results of this study showed that perceived social
expectations exerted the most important influence on firms’
behavior to adopt corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices. The positive impact of organizational
support and stakeholder pressure on the adoption of
corporate environmental responsibility and green practices
was also of special interest. The results indicated that
perceived social expectations, organizational support
(availability of internal resources), and stakeholder pressure
(availability of external resources) were viewed as
important antecedents for the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices.
Support of environmental
Efficient use of resources
Increase company value
Beer waste management
Government regulatory bodies
Supply chains and business partners Code of environmental ethics
Social audit and self-assessment
Legal and regulatory compliance
Good corporate image
Fig. 2 The structural equation
model and path diagram of
green practice adoption. Note
Fig. 2 shows the measurement
components and the structural
components by using thin lines.
Big circles represent the latent
variables that are unobserved
endogenous variables, while
rectangles represent the
measure variables that are
observed endogenous variables.
The numeric values on the lines
represent the coefficient values
of the parameters estimated in
the model. Coefficient is
statistically significant at 95 %
CI (*** p\0.01)
Table 4 One-way analysis of
variance by job titles Variable Staff Associate Manager Director F statistic
Social expectations -0.203 -0.133 0.283 0.432 13.045***
Organizational support -0.212 0.068 0.145 0.245 7.662***
Stakeholder pressure -0.241 -0.018 0.196 0.319 10.042***
Green practice adoption -0.119 -0.001 -0.022 0.351 5.454***
Numbers in the cells are standardized mean values. Probability values for rejection of the null hypothesis of
no mean difference are employed at the 0.05 level (*** p \0.01)
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices 405
The results of Hypotheses 1, 2, and 5 highlighted the
role of perceived social expectations of corporate
employees and top management in promoting the adoption
of corporate environmental responsibility and green practices
of logistics companies in Korea. The perceived social
expectations of corporate employees and top management
were one of the most critical antecedents in promoting the
positive perceptions of organizational support and stakeholder
pressure and resulted in the adoption of corporate
environmental responsibility and green practices. Accordingly,
the increasing organizational support and stakeholder
pressure in the process drove the green practice
adoption of Korean logistics companies. Greenhouse gas
emissions, fuel efficiency in transportation, and efficient
energy use in warehouse management are probably the
most critical environmental issues of the logistics and
transportation industry in Korea, which have become the
key environmental issues of organizational support and
stakeholder pressure in the Korean logistics industry. By
becoming aware of the ever increasing expectations from
society and local communities for corporate environmental
responsibility and environmental ethics companies in this
sector should make a substantial contribution to reducing
their greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental
impacts as well as improve the operational efficiency and
economic profitability of their businesses.
The result of Hypothesis 3 highlighted the role of perceived
organizational support in facilitating the green
practice adoption of logistics companies in Korea. The
perceived organizational support (availability of organizational
resources) of corporate employees and top management
was a critical antecedent of the adoption of corporate
environmental responsibility and green practices. Strong
organizational support and the quality of human resources
facilitated the green practice adoption of Korean logistics
companies. The acknowledgement of strong organizational
support and the availability of internal resources provided
employees with motivation and resources required to make
environmental commitments and adopt green practices.
The result of Hypothesis 4 highlighted the role of perceived
stakeholder pressure in driving the green practice
adoption of logistics companies in Korea. The perceived
stakeholder pressure (availability of external resources) of
corporate employees and top management was also a
critical antecedent of the adoption of corporate environmental
responsibility and green practices. Both non-governmental
organizations’ pressure and governmental
regulatory pressure drove the fast adoption of green practices
of Korean logistics companies. In this regard, government
actions will force a green agenda on the industry
in a top-down approach. Although this may be the least
desirable outcome for the logistics industry, it is already
evident that government intervention and legislation are
directly impacting environmental issues of the logistics
industry. For example, legislation controlling the movement
of hazardous goods, reducing packaging waste, stipulating
the recycled content of products, and the mandatory
collection and recycling of products is already evident in
the economy. Although there are clear trends in policy
guidelines that make users pay the full costs of using the
resources, many logistics and transportation companies in
Korea have largely escaped these initiatives.
The results in Table 4 showed that the respondents with
higher positions and titles had a more positive perception
of their commitment to green practice adoption. The current
top management of the Korean logistics industry was
well aware that they have been mandated to make a
commitment to environmental responsibility and green
practices. Based on the findings from this study, governmental
regulatory bodies should be aware of the reality that
most logistics and transportation companies in Korea are
still small enterprises and thus they may suffer from a lack
of financial, technical, and qualified human resources.
Although most logistics and transportation companies in
Korea, regardless of their size and business scope, are well
aware of the importance of their environmental commitments,
they are less likely to put resources into adopting
new technologies and green practices as they have a tendency
to focus on the short-term return on their investments.
In addition, small companies in such less productive
industries will put more resources into improving their
primary business activities but allocate fewer resources to
environmental responsibility and green practices. Therefore,
policy makers may offer economic incentives and
provide required resources to the logistics industry for
achieving their environmental commitments. Policy makers
should put more efforts in encouraging logistics companies
to adopt green practices, instead of enforcing new
environmental rules and standards.
In summary, logistics and transportation companies in
Korea are consequently under heavy pressure from both
outside and inside factors to be more proactive and
accountable for a wide range of environmental responsibilities
and adopting green practices. The ever increasing
social expectations for corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices require logistics companies to
publicly report on their assessments of making environmental
commitments and adopting green practices. Such
regulatory pressure and increasing social expectations for
the environment, whether rational or not, should be seen in
the context of the business sector’s reality. Therefore, the
role of the logistics and transportation industry in the
economy will be changing and will become an active
partner in promoting corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices. As a result, green practices in the
Korean logistics industry are more likely to be adopted if,
406 J. W. Lee et al.
in addition to regulatory pressure, the government provides
a wide range of incentives available for implementing
measures in compliance with the new environmental rules
and standards that have complicated business operations in
the logistics industry even further.
This paper examined antecedents for the adoption of corporate
environmental responsibility and green practices of
the Korean logistics industry. The results showed that
perceived social expectations, organizational support, and
stakeholder pressure were important antecedents for the
adoption of corporate environmental responsibility and
green practices. In the path analysis, social expectations
had the highest impact on both stakeholder pressure and
green practice adoption. Moreover, we found that the
higher the job titles were, the more willing they were to
adopt green practices.
Future research is needed to generalize these findings
and could examine other business sectors (for example,
clean industries versus dirty industries, high-tech industries
versus low-tech (labor-intensive) industries) from different
levels of economic development (for example, developed
economies versus developing economies) as potential
sources of variation in the antecedents of organizational
commitment to adopt corporate environmental responsibility
and green practices.
See Table 5.
Table 5 Survey questionnaire and descriptive statistics
Survey questions (Sample size = 780)
(5-point scale ranging from ‘Strongly Disagree = 1’ to ‘Strongly Agree = 5’)
X201. I feel society demands our company to adopt green practices to improve environmental performance 4.462 (0.766)
X202. I feel society demands our company to adopt green practices to improve the efficient use of resources 4.195 (0.780)
X203. I feel society demands our company to adopt green practices to enhance our company’s value 4.005 (0.807)
X204. I feel society demands our company reduce industrial waste and environmental pollutants 4.338 (0.764)
X205. I feel society demands our company to adopt green practices to enhance our company’s reputation 4.036 (0.874)
X206. I think our top management initiates environmental strategies to improve environmental performance 4.087 (0.846)
X207. I think our company provides resources to deal with environmental issues 3.897 (0.791)
X208. I think our company provides written guidelines on how to follow green practices 4.277 (0.748)
X209. I think our company provides a code of environmental ethics and standards of practice for the environment 3.995 (0.794)
X210. I feel environmental groups and organizations require our company to improve environmental performance 3.528 (0.902)
X211. I feel our customers require our company to improve environmental performance 3.964 (0.891)
X212. I feel the government requires our company to improve environmental performance 3.933 (0.866)
X213. I feel our supply chains and business partners require our company to improve environmental performance 3.826 (0.889)
Green practice adoption:
Y201. I recommend that our company adopts green practices 4.164 (0.667)
Y201. I would like to become a role model in adopting green practices 4.031 (0.686)
Y203. I recommend that our company conducts environmental assessments of reporting green practices 3.944 (0.766)
Y204. I recommend that our company should have a legal and regulatory compliance department 3.959 (0.729)
Y205. I recommend that our company should follow environmental governance at global and national levels 3.913 (0.783)
Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices 407
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