Two essays on environmental orientation

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University of Alabama Libraries

Green marketing has become ubiquitous. Generating profits through green marketing, however, has not. While firms continue to adopt environmental practices, they struggle to gain a competitive advantage through these endeavors. While scholars search for underlying theories and motivational factors to explain and change this behavior, managers simply want tangible solutions that improve performance and provide a return on their green investments. Environmental orientation may shed light onto this discrepancy by assessing a firm's ability to provide an authentic, unified image of environmental commitment. This research investigates the construct from both the manager and salesperson perspective. In the first essay, I use the resource-based view and dynamic capabilities literature to construct an eco-capability that leverages the firm's human, business, and technology resources. Using a panel of 246 managers from 14 industries, I estimate a Latent Moderated Structural (LMS) model that provides support for the eco-capability components. I find a positive interaction effect between a firm's environmental orientation and organizational innovativeness on the formation of the eco-capability. This new construct is significantly related to both market and financial performance as well as the perceptions of quality associated with the firm's offering. In the second essay, I measure environmental orientation from the salesperson's point of view. I again implement LMS on a panel of 224 salespeople across nine industries to examine the effects that this firm-level orientation has on individual-level behaviors. Using an Input-Process-Output framework and social identity theory, I demonstrate the importance of a strategic alignment of values in optimizing performance and satisfaction. Specifically, I find that salespeople who work for environmentally-oriented firms put forth more effort and provide more feedback to managers when they identify with the organization. This increased effort and participation has a positive influence on sales performance. Further, salespeople with strong personal environmental identities are also more likely to provide feedback via participation, which ultimately contributes to their job satisfaction. Taken together, the dissertation demonstrates the importance of environmental orientation and its role in sustainable business from both a managerial and salesperson perspective while offering suggestions for future research and applications.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Marketing, Sustainability, Management