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Motivational influences on supply manager environmental sustainability behavior

James Anthony Swaim (Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Michael J. Maloni (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Amy Henley (Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Stacy Campbell (Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




Although supply chain managers serve a central role when implementing corporate environmental sustainability objectives, existing literature does not demonstrate high levels of supply manager support for such initiatives. This paper aims to investigate the potential of individual behavioral influences to explain supply manager orientation toward environmental responsibility.


This paper constructs a research model based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to explore how personal environmental motivations influence supply manager environmental behavior in the workplace. This paper also incorporates hyperbolic discounting as a cognitive bias moderator in the model. The research hypotheses were tested with regression of survey data of practicing supply managers in the USA.


Support was found for the direct TPB hypotheses, revealing the importance of an individual’s personal attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control on interpreting and applying the organization’s environmental sustainability objectives. Although the interactive effect of hyperbolic discounting as a cognitive bias was not supported, a direct effect was found.

Practical implications

The findings can help organizations improve supply manager support for sustainability initiatives.


Prior supply chain sustainability research has examined drivers and barriers at political, legal, economical and overall firm levels. This study expands this research base by investigating individual-level barriers and drivers related to personal responsibility for environmental sustainability. As a second contribution, integration of cognitive biases in the TPB has been understudied in existing literature.



Anthony Swaim, J., Maloni, M.J., Henley, A. and Campbell, S. (2016), "Motivational influences on supply manager environmental sustainability behavior", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 305-320.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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