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Actions speak louder than words? The impact of subjective norms in the supply chain on green innovation

Yongyi Shou (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Xueshu Shan (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Jing Dai (Nottingham Univerisity Business School, University of Nottingham – Ningbo China, Ningbo, China)
Dong Xu (Nottingham Univerisity Business School, University of Nottingham – Ningbo China, Ningbo, China)
Wen Che (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 15 December 2022

136

Abstract

Purpose

Adopting the theory of planned behavior, this study attempts to investigate how subjective norms in the supply chain influence a firm's green innovation and how such influences are contingent upon the firm's internal and external factors (i.e. flexibility orientation and environmental dynamism). Two types of subjective norms are examined, i.e. injunctive norms (what supply chain partners say) and descriptive norms (what supply chain partners do).

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data of 178 Chinese small and medium-sized manufacturers, we employ hierarchical linear regression to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Our results indicate that both injunctive and descriptive norms are instrumental in stimulating firms to take actions on green innovation. Moreover, the flexibility orientation of a firm can strengthen the effect of descriptive norms. It is also observed that environmental dynamism weakens the efficacy of injunctive norms but strengthens that of descriptive norms on green innovation.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to apply the theory of planned behavior to explain the microfoundations of focal firm's green innovation and distinguish two types of subjective norms in the supply chain. In addition, it extends the theory of planned behavior by revealing internal and external contingent factors (i.e. flexibility orientation and environmental dynamism) of the relationship between subjective norms and firm behaviors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant number: 71821002].

Citation

Shou, Y., Shan, X., Dai, J., Xu, D. and Che, W. (2022), "Actions speak louder than words? The impact of subjective norms in the supply chain on green innovation", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2022-0265

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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