The role of Capability and Commitment enhancing HR practices regarding the effects of sustainability efforts on firm performance

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Sustainability has become a growing topic of interest for operations management scholars and practitioners (Porter, 2011; Magon, Thomé, Ferrer & Scavarda, 2018) and businesses have started to realize the importance of ecological and social systems in creating a competitive advantage (Magon et al., 2018). This has been a specifically important topic for the manufacturing industry, as the pressure to be sustainable due to energy and resource intensive manufacturing processes (Schrettle, Hinz, Scherrer-Rathje & Friedli, 2014). Moreover, previous research found contradictory results and more research is needed as to under what circumstances the sustainability-performance relationship occurs (Magon et al. 2018). HRM is crucial for establishing innovation (Becker & Huselid, 1998) and plays a significant role in a firm’s ability to achieve sustainability and effects on firm performance (Ashford, 2001).Capability and commitment enhancing HR practices (CCEP’s) could be one of the factors affecting the sustainability - firm performance relationship. This research is focused on the effects of pollution prevention measures (PPM’s) in Dutch manufacturing companies on firm performance, and the role of CCEP’s in this relationship. By looking into the effects of sustainability measures on firm performance and the circumstances under which these occur, this study aims to clarify this relationship and identify causal relationships. By using the data gathered by the EMS (2015), this study used quantitative analyses to find results. A post-hoc analysis was conducted with the aim to find further explanations for the results found in the main analysis. It was found that PPM’s increase environmental performance, and CCEP’s do affect the relationship between some PPM’s and financial- operational and environmental performance. However, these relationships can be weaker or stronger based on whether pollution prevention technologies (PPT’s), pollution prevention practices (PPP’s) or both are implemented.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen