The impact of external pressure and sustainable management practices on manufacturing performance and environmental outcomes

Dotun Adebanjo (Business School, University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Pei-Lee Teh (School of Business, Monash University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Pervaiz K. Ahmed (School of Business, Monash University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 5 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the direct effect of external pressure on environmental outcomes and manufacturing performance and examine the mediating effect of sustainable management practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws upon institutional theory and resource-based view to understand how factors such as external pressure and sustainable management relate with environmental outcomes and manufacturing performance. The model specifies previously unexplored direct and mediating relationships between external pressure, sustainable management, environmental outcomes and manufacturing performance. The empirical analysis is based on data collected from the sixth edition of the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey. The research hypotheses are tested using structural equation modelling.

Findings

Results show that while there is a significant direct and mediating relationship between external pressure, adoption of formal sustainability programmes and environmental outcomes, such significant relationships do not exist with manufacturing performance.

Practical implications

The study shows that external pressure can influence adoption of sustainable practices but this does not necessarily lead to an improvement in manufacturing performance. As such managers need to identify the actual benefits of sustainability and weigh them up against costs of implementing such programmes.

Originality/value

The relationship between the adoption of sustainable practices and organisational performance is a complex one. In contrast to previous studies, this study found that while external pressure and sustainable management relate positively with environmental outcomes, no such relationship exists with manufacturing performance. This raises a number of question marks over naive implementation of sustainable strategies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the project partners of the sixth edition of International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS) in all phases of data collection. The gratitude also goes to all the respondents of the survey.

Citation

Adebanjo, D., Teh, P. and Ahmed, P. (2016), "The impact of external pressure and sustainable management practices on manufacturing performance and environmental outcomes", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 36 No. 9, pp. 995-1013. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-11-2014-0543

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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