The notion of businesses being driven by profit-oriented activities is rapidly changing. Today, businesses and the corporate world have realized that people make the center of all activities [1
]. This has changed the corporate world and gave birth to corporate sustainability that creates long-term value for consumers and employees, among others, by developing a “green” strategy [2
]. This strategy focuses on the natural environment by considering every dimension of business operations and their social, cultural, economic, and environmental impacts [3
]. Corporate sustainability is a transformation of more traditional phrases that define ethical and equitable corporate practices. Though traditional expressions such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship are still common, these have already started to be replaced by corporate sustainability which is a broader and comprehensive term. Past research linked corporate sustainability to increased revenue, reduced wastes, materials, water, energy, and overall expenses. These studies also associated corporate sustainability with increased employees’ productivity, reduced hiring and attrition expenses, and reduced strategic as well as operational risks [4
]. Therefore, both practitioners and academics need to have a clear understanding of the factors affecting corporate sustainability.
Largely, firms’ operations and corporate sustainability or efforts for adopting it are greatly influenced by humans [7
]. Green-oriented management practices are executed entirely by humans expressing a positive attitude towards the environment and having a sense of responsibility for their actions that may have any environmental implications. Green human resource management practices (GHRM) consist of key practices such as green recruitment and selection, green training, pay and rewards, and employees’ involvement. Needless to say, the role of GHRM is very significant when it comes to the development of environment-friendly norms and practices within organizations [8
]. The authors argue GHRM practices play a vital role in providing the necessary ingredients for achieving corporate sustainability [9
]. As such, recent literature emphasizes the significance and the potential of GHRM in achieving corporate sustainability [8
The objective of this paper is to explore the industry’s perspective on the impact of GHRM practices (i.e., green recruitment and selection, green pay and reward, and green employee involvement) on corporate sustainability practices. As there is a lack of research on the causal relationship between GHRM practices and corporate sustainability, this study is timely in filling a clear research gap. Particularly, the industry’s perspective on this important subject is absent in the existing literature. The present study fills this gap and contributes to the existing literature by providing the industry’s perspective on GHRM and corporate sustainability. Practically, the findings of the present study will provide practitioners to ascertain the significance of GHRM practices in achieving corporate sustainability.
Nevertheless, there is little evidence in the academic literature to confirm the relationship between GHRM practices and corporate sustainability, particularly in this emerging field of research [8
]. Additionally, the literature also reports some recent calls to investigate the aforementioned relationship in emerging and developing countries to merge the importance of GHRM practices and corporate sustainability [8
]. However, research further reported that the investigation of the above relationship is rare in different industries [8
]. Hence, to fill this gap the current study uses the crux of the stakeholder theory in different industries such as industrial/manufacturing, information technology (IT), banking, and education. The aforesaid are the main sectors that contribute tremendously to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the sample country. Similarly, in the above sectors, the country focuses on the overall sustainability and human development as a whole.
After achieving the above research objective, the study brings several contributions to theory, method, and practices. Firstly, the study has theoretical significance to underpin the crux of stakeholder theory in the relationship between GHRM and corporate sustainability practices to satisfy the demands of multiple stakeholders. Secondly, the study contributes to the limited literature of the subject relationship particularly in developing economies context. Thirdly, the study has a methodological contribution by validating the newly developed scale of GHRM by the authors [4
] in a developing country context. Finally, the study offers practical implications for the different industries of the country as the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a code of corporate governance 2019 mentioning the implementation of green and sustainable workplace practices in these industries.
A brief review of the literature on GHRM and corporate sustainability is presented in the next section, which is followed by the development of research hypotheses. Next, we describe the methods employed in the present study. We then describe both the analysis and results, followed by a detailed explanation of the findings, including their implications for research and practice. The last section highlights the limitations of this research and provides several recommendations for future studies.
4. Data Analysis and Results
Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) using SmartPLS 3.0 was used for data analysis [59
]. PLS-SEM is considered a good choice for HRM models when the goal of the study is to explore key predictors of the outcome variables. Measurement model (internal consistency reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity), structural model (R-square (R2
), path coefficient, f2
, and Q2
), and multigroup analysis (significantly differs between groups) were performed [60
summarizes the results of convergent validity and internal consistency reliability. All indicators and constructs are found to have met the reflective measurement criteria. Specifically, the outer loadings (λ) are all above 0.651, demonstrating that indicator reliability is achieved [59
]. Moreover, the average variance extracted (AVE) values are all more than 0.50, denoting that convergent validity is also achieved [59
]. Furthermore, composite reliability (CR) values are 0.822 or higher, which are clearly above the required minimum level of 0.70 and thus have secure internal consistency [59
]. In other words, the test results show the measurement criteria of the model are being achieved.
Discriminant validity is the degree to which a construct is unique from its counterparts [62
]. The criterion was used to determine the discriminant validity proposed by the authors [63
]. The values in the diagonal must be larger than all other values in the corresponding rows and columns [62
]. As shown in Table 3
, all the diagonal values are higher than others, thereby confirming the discriminant validity.
The assessment of the structural model includes R2
, effect size (f2
), multicollinearity (VIF), model fit, coefficients, p
-values, and t
]. Table 3
and Table 4
summarize the results of the structural model. Before moving into this step, we first test the collinearity of the structural model. Collinearity is measured using the Variance Inflation Factor (VIF).
reports that all VIF values are below the threshold of 5, suggesting that there is no such issue of collinearity among the constructs [62
]. The adjusted R2
measures the predictive power of the model, and this shows the amount of variance in the endogenous variable that can be explained by the exogenous variables. The adjusted R2
(0.578) indicates that all GHRM practices combined to contribute more than 57% to corporate sustainability.
also reports the effect size using f2
of the model. The values range from 0.005 to 0.089, which fall in the small category of effect size. The Q2
value indicates the predictive relevance values generated of variables. All the values of Q2
are >0, which means that the model has predictive relevance. The values of the goodness of fit that were generated through the standardized root mean squared residual (SRMR) are equal to 0.073 < 0.080; the normed fit index (NFI) 0.736 is close to 1; and the rms Theta are close to <0.20, which means that our model fits the empirical data.
The statistical values furnished in Table 5
indicate a positive significant relationship (β = 0.308, t
-value = 3.945, p
< 0.01) between green involvement and corporate sustainability which supports our first hypothesis (H1) of the study. The findings are in line with the previous authors who found that green involvement is a crucial factor in improving sustainability performance such as reducing waste, pollution, and making full use of resources in a workplace [42
Similarly, the numerical values provided a positive significant relationship (β = 0.296, t
-value = 4.295, p
< 0.01) between green pay and reward and corporate sustainability which supports our second hypothesis (H2). Our results are according to the postulations of previous studies that stated that green performance rewards both financial and non-financial motivate the employees to participate and improve the corporate sustainability of the organization [6
Likewise, there is a positive significant relationship (β = 0.199, t
-value = 2.874, p
< 0.01) between green recruitment and selection and corporate sustainability which clearly supports our hypothesis (H3) of the study. These results support previous studies that recorded that green recruitment and selection is an important component that helps identify green employees who exhibit green inclinations and helps develop corporate sustainability culture within the organization [45
]. Lastly, the relationship between green training and corporate sustainability is not supported as the p
-value is >0.05.
By employing PLS structural model technique, the study performed multigroup analysis. “PLS multigroup analysis is used to determine if the PLS model significantly differs between groups” [60
]. The author further explained multigroup analysis by using independent samples t
-tests to compare paths between groups [66
]. The multigroup analysis is “parametric” because significance testing requires the assumption of multivariate normal distributions, unlike traditional PLS. As the study consists of different groups of industries, it is important to evaluate the difference between these groups.
reported the multigroup analysis for four sectors, namely, industrial, banking, information technology (IT), and education sectors. The study assumes the industrial sector as the dirtiest industry, and hence selected it as a base industry. According to the statistics of parametric and Welch–Satterthwaite tests, there is a significant difference between green recruitment and selection and corporate sustainability of industrial and banking sectors (showing in bold figures). The results explain that the banking sector performs better in green recruitment and selection and corporate sustainability practices than the industrial sector. However, there is no significant difference between the two industries for the rest of the variables or their association. On the contrary, the green involvement and corporate sustainability path are significant between the industrial and IT sectors. Surprisingly, the industrial sector performs better than the IT sector in the aforementioned practices. Lastly, the study found significant differences in the association of green recruitment and selection with corporate sustainability in the industrial and education sectors. Thus, it is concluded that the education sector performs better than the industrial sector for the association of green recruitment and selection with corporate sustainability. However, there is no significant difference between the two industries for the rest of the variables or their association.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
This study aimed to investigate the industry’s perspective on the impact of GHRM practices (i.e., green recruitment and selection, green training, green pay and rewards, and green employee involvement) on corporate sustainability practices. It was interesting to see how the industry perceives GHRM practices as important factors for corporate sustainability. The findings indicate that human resource is an important stakeholder if managed well, which assists organizations in attaining corporate sustainability. Green awareness of the employee (candidate) enables an organization to achieve its sustainability and organizational strategic green goals. In the same way, green employer branding generally develops the green reputation of the company through better environmental management that is formed via GHRM practices [42
], specifically during the recruitment and selection process. The results further documented that green involvement and recruitment and selection vary among the industries particularly among industrial, banking, and education sectors. For instance, the association of green recruitment and selection with corporate sustainability in the banking sector is better than in the industrial sector. Likewise, green involvement has a significant relationship with corporate sustainability in both the industrial and IT sectors, where the performance of the former is better than the latter. Besides, the education sector has better statistics than the industrial sector for the impact of green recruitment and selection on corporate sustainability.
Unexpectedly, unlike past findings, the results of the present study show that the respondents of the study do not perceive green training as the predictor of corporate sustainability. One of the reasons for such findings is that in fast-paced business activities employees are being pushed to focus more and more on core activities of daily operations, thus other activities such as “training” are probably going to be assumed less important. The findings also show a strong and significant nexus of green involvement with corporate sustainability. This finding is consistent with the prior literature reporting that green involvement is a vital element in improving sustainability performance, such as reducing waste, pollution, and making full and efficient use of resources at the workplace [42
]. Likewise, the results of the present study also confirm the significant positive relationship between green pay and reward and corporate sustainability. This result endorses the claims of previous literature that both financial and non-financial rewards motivate employees to participate and improve the corporate sustainability of the organization [6
The finding of this study offers several implications for theory and practice. First, the study contributes to the limited literature of GHRM practices and corporate sustainability by increasing the understanding of their nexus. Second, there is a lack of literature on GHRM practices and corporate sustainability, particularly in developing and emerging economies. Hence, the study partially validated a newly developed GHRM scale by the authors [4
] in the developing country context. Third, the study underpins the crux of stakeholder theory for the subject relationship and hence has practical implications for the CEOs and HR managers to implement GHRM and integrate corporate sustainability within the organization for the satisfaction of multiple stakeholders in developing countries. From a practical perspective, the study sheds light on how an organization implements GHRM initiatives by involving its employees in green practices. Organizations should recruit and select their employees through the green process, train them in, and design their pay and reward system sustainably. The findings of the study help organizations by addressing the broad agenda of sustainable productions by adopting GHRM and corporate sustainability practices particularly in industrial and IT sectors. Similarly, the findings bring practical implications for the banking sector as the regulator issued a policy towards the implementation of green banking practices. Likewise, the findings also helpful to inform the education sector, particularly the universities, on the adoption of the broad agenda of education for sustainable development (ESD).
This study has a few limitations that may be addressed in future studies. Firstly, as in the current study the perceptions of the industrial respondents are captured, in future studies the model should be replicated on a general sample such as business graduates, academics, and other practitioners related to the fields. Similarly, the new scale developed by the author [2
] should also be tested in the sample country context. Secondly, in the future, the studies should be directed towards qualitative aspects of the GHRM practices, and their role in the implementation of corporate sustainability. Thirdly, the available theory used for this study also paves a path for considering organizational culture and strategic orientation variables for any future studies. This would be carried out by utilizing the moderating and mediating models in the relationship between GHRM and corporate sustainability. Last but not least, the studies in future directions should consider the multigroup analysis and longitudinal nature, particularly secondary data analysis.