Environmental management training for micro and small enterprises: the missing link?

Sue Cassells (School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Kate V. Lewis (School of Management, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Micro and small enterprises face growing expectations from stakeholders to behave responsibly in respect of environmental management. However, many continue to exhibit patterns of relative disengagement with both environmental management and associated training. The purpose of this paper is to explore the attitudes and experiences that underpin both.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on survey data from 148 owner-managers of micro and small firms in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector. Binary logit regression and non-parametric testing were employed to examine influences on engagement with both environmental management and environmental training.

Findings

There is a lack of knowledge of, and participation in, training related to environmental management. Awareness tends to be from firms already engaged in training; signalling a potential circularity of exposure effect. A distinct division in attitude exists between those who identify with personal responsibility and autonomy as the pathway to responsibility in respect of their firm’s environmental impact and those who cede to the collective actions of other communities to dictate engagement (i.e. industry associations and government).

Research limitations/implications

The survey is based on the perceptions of the respondents to the survey statements and as such it is a self-assessment.

Originality/value

The paper is one of few that investigate the challenge of securing engagement with training and development in environmental management by micro and small enterprises in the New Zealand context.

Keywords

Citation

Cassells, S. and Lewis, K.V. (2017), "Environmental management training for micro and small enterprises: the missing link?", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 297-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-09-2016-0145

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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