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Top management’s green transformational leadership and competitive advantage: the mediating role of green organizational learning capability

Burcu Özgül (Department of International Trade and Business, Istanbul Topkapı University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Cemal Zehir (Department of Business Administration, Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey and Center for Islamic Finance, Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC), Baku, Azerbaijan)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 9 December 2022




This study aims to develop an original green organizational learning capability (GOLC) framework to examine the effects of green transformational leadership (GTL) on competitive advantage (CA) through GOLC by making use of the natural resource-based view (NRBV).


The current research proposes GOLC as a novel construct that simultaneously integrates green absorptive capability (GAC) and green transformative capability (GTC). Furthermore, this study presents a theoretical model that investigates GOLC as an intermediate mechanism in the relationship between GTL and CA based on the NRBV. The partial least squares method is used to test the data collected from 265 firms included in the list of Turkey’s Top 500 Industrial Enterprises in 2019 and having ISO 14001 certificate.


Top management’s GTL positively affects the firm’s GOLC. Moreover, GOLC positively affects the firm’s CA. This study further shows that GTL has a significant indirect effect on CA through GOLC.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates how firm managers can be persuasive in adopting GOLC with a critical role in developing and promoting green products and services to improve the firm’s environmental sustainability and CA by exhibiting GTL.


This research applies the NRBV theory to propose a novel concept, GOLC and develops an integral conceptual model to discover its managerial impacts, antecedent and consequence. No prior literature has examined the impact of top management’s GTL on GOLC and CA.



Declaration of interests:

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests.


Özgül, B. and Zehir, C. (2022), "Top management’s green transformational leadership and competitive advantage: the mediating role of green organizational learning capability", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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