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Do green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands stimulate corporate social and environmental responsibilities, environmental and financial performance? Evidence from an emerging economy

Charles Baah (Transportation Engineering College, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China)
Yaw Agyabeng-Mensah (Transportation Engineering College, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China)
Ebenezer Afum (Transportation Engineering College, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China)
Minenhle Siphesihle Mncwango (Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 30 April 2021

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021

680

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations desire to achieve green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands and have been potent in influencing the adoption and implementation of social and environmental responsibilities in current business settings. Perceiving that social and environmental responsibilities that promote social growth and environmental sustainability have shifted from being optional to mandatory for organizations, this study from the perspectives of institutional and stakeholder theories elucidates the efficacy of green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands on the adoption of social and environmental responsibilities at the organizational level and how these variables relate with environmental and financial performance in the context of an emerging economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a positivist methodological paradigm, survey research design, a quantitative approach and partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) in making data analysis and interpretations due to its appropriateness for predictive research models.

Findings

The results highlighted that desire for green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands influenced the adoption of environmental responsibility, social responsibility, environmental and financial performance. While environmental responsibility positively and robustly influenced environmental performance, social responsibility positively and significantly influenced financial performance. The findings particularly exposed that while environmental responsibility had negative and insignificant effect on financial performance, social responsibility negatively and significantly influenced environmental performance. Moreover, environmental performance was also found to be negatively and insignificantly correlated with financial performance. Based on the results, theoretical and practical implications are explained for policymakers, managers, government authorities and business owners.

Originality/value

The study is among the few to investigate how firms desire to achieve green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands motivate the adoption and implementation of environmental and social responsibilities and its implications on environmental and financial performance in the context of an emerging economy. Although environmental responsibility has received significant attention in past studies, it is mostly considered a subset of corporate social responsibility. Thus, this study is among the first to explore the dimensional effects of corporate social responsibility namely environmental responsibility and social responsibility on performance in the context of an emerging economy and as individual constructs.

Keywords

Citation

Baah, C., Agyabeng-Mensah, Y., Afum, E. and Mncwango, M.S. (2021), "Do green legitimacy and regulatory stakeholder demands stimulate corporate social and environmental responsibilities, environmental and financial performance? Evidence from an emerging economy", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 787-803. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-10-2020-0225

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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