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An empirical investigation of green initiatives and environmental sustainability for manufacturing SMEs

Peter Yacob (Department of Entrepreneurship, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Perak Campus , Kampar, Malaysia)
Lai Soon Wong (Department of Marketing, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Perak Campus , Kampar, Malaysia)
Saw Chin Khor (Department of Marketing, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Perak Campus , Kampar, Malaysia)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 21 September 2018

Issue publication date: 7 January 2019

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2394

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the extent of green initiatives within manufacturing SMEs, as well as the mediating effect of the owners/managers intention toward green and moderating effect of green technology adoption in building environmental sustainability in the context of the Malaysian manufacturing SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a survey questionnaire responded by 260 Malaysian manufacturing SMEs. The relationships proposed in the developed conceptual framework were represented through three hypotheses: there is a significant relationship between green initiatives and environmental sustainability (H1); intention toward green mediates the relationship between green initiatives and environmental sustainability (H2); and green technology adoption moderates the relationship between intention toward green and environmental sustainability (H3). SEM-AMOS nested model comparisons and mediating and moderating analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This is the first research toward the green initiatives framework for the manufacturing SMEs. Till date, no framework is available which could guide researchers and practitioners of this high impact on the environment industry. The findings revealed that energy management, water conservation and waste management are related to environmental sustainability. On mediation analysis, it confirms that owners/managers intention toward green fully mediates the association of green initiatives and environmental sustainability. Finally, the moderation analysis revealed that green technology adoption does not have an influence on manufacturing SMEs environmental sustainability.

Practical implications

This study is expected to help both researchers and practitioners in terms of manufacturing and other industries who are serious toward environmental sustainability implementation and are looking for an appropriate mechanism. It offers a generalized environmental sustainability implementation linking SMEs owners/managers, green practices, green technology policy, process management and supply chain management.

Originality/value

This study is among the very first environmental sustainability implementation research works conducted in the Malaysian manufacturing sector, particularly, in relation to the green initiatives and “four pillars” of green technology policy that manufacturing SMEs in this country need to adopt to make their environmental sustainability a solid competitive vehicle for their development. The results have broader implications for all manufacturing SMEs, particularly in developing economies where the growth of manufacturing and the development of integrated environmental sustainability are key stages in economic development.

Keywords

Citation

Yacob, P., Wong, L.S. and Khor, S.C. (2019), "An empirical investigation of green initiatives and environmental sustainability for manufacturing SMEs", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 2-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-08-2017-0153

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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