The Effects of Environmental Orientation on Firm Performance and a Mediating Role of Employee-Based Brand Equity: A Comparative study

Zazli Lily Wisker, Piotr Kwiatek


The studies striving to investigate the interrelationships between environmental orientation-company’s performance, and its mediator constructs remain fragmented. This study provides insights to illuminate the process through which environmental orientation transfers into business results. It proposes hypotheses based on Social Identity Theory and the Theory of Reasoned Action and empirically test it in a comparative, cross-cultural study. The findings observe that employee-specific idiosyncrasies influence business performance through employee-based brand equity. Thus, the study suggests an increased role for management-induced practices to effectively transform brand values into a higher level of employee engagement and better business results.


Firm Environmental Orientation, Employee Based Brand Equity, Environmental Conscious Behaviour, Firm Performance.

Full Text:



Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-221.

Ajzen, I. and Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitude predicting behaviour. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Annandale, D., Morrison-Saunders, A., and Bouma, G. (2004). The impact of voluntary environmental protection instruments on company environmental performance. Business Strategy and the Environment, 13, 1-12.

Anderson, J. and Gerbing, D.W. (1988). Structural equation modelling in practice: A review and recommend two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103(3), 411-423.

Aiken, L.S. and West, S.G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newsbury Park, California: Sage Publication.

Aragon-Correa, J.A. (1998). Strategic proactivity and firm approach to natural environment. Academy of Management Journal, 41(5), 556-566.

Armstrong, J.S. and Overton, T.S. (1977). Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys. Journal of Marketing Research, 14(3), 396-402.

Banerjee, S.B. (2002). Corporate environmentalism. The construct and its measurement. Journal of Business Review, 55, 177-191.

Banerjee, S.B., Iyer, E.S. and Kashyap, R.K. (2003). Corporate environmentalism: Antecedents and influence of industry type. Journal of Marketing, 67, 106-122.

Bansal, P. (2005). Evolving sustainability: A longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic Management Journal, 26(30, 197-218.

Bansal, P. and Roth, K. (2010). Why companies go green. The Academy Management Journal, 43(4), 717-736.

Bartels, J. and Reinders, M. (2016). Consuming apart, together: the role of multiple identities in sustainable behavior. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(4), 444-452.

Belz, F.-M., Peattie, K. (2012). Sustainability Marketing: A Global Perspective, 2nd Edition, Wiley.

Bloemer, J. and Oderkerken-Schroder, G. (2006). The role of employee relationship proneness in creating employee loyalty. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 24(4), 252-264.

Brammer, S., Millington, A., and Rayton, B. (2007). The contribution of corporate social responsibility to organizational commitment. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(10), 1707-1719.

Brehm, J.W. (1966). A theory of psychological reactance. Oxford, England: Academic Press.

Burmann, C., Zeplin, S. and Riley, N. (2009). Key determinants of internal branding success: an exploratory empirical analysis. Journal of Brand Management, 16(4). 264-284.

Buysse, K. and Verbeke, A. (2003). Proactive environmental strategies: A stakeholder management perspective. Strategic Management Journal, 24(5), 453-470.

Byrne, B. (2001). Structural equation modelling with AMOS: Basic concepts, application and programming. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Pub.

Cantele, S. and Zardini, A. (2018). Is sustainability a competitive advantage for small businesses” An empirical analysis of possible meaditors in the sustainability performance relationship. Journal of Cleaner Production, May, 166-176.

Carnahan, S., Kryscynski, D. and Olson, D. (2017). When does corporate social responsibility reduce employee turnover? Evidence from attorneys before and after 9/11. Academy of Management Journal, 60(5), 1932-1962.

Carrigan, M., and Atalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer – Do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560-577.

Chan, E.S.W and Hawkins, R. (2010). Attitude towards EMSs in an international hotel: An exploratory case study. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(4), 641-651.

Chen, Y., Tang, G, Jin, J., Li, J. and Pascal, P. (2015). Linking market orientation and environmental performance: The influence of environmental strategy, employee’s environmental involvement, and environmental product quality. Journal of Business Ethics, 127, 479-500.

Cramer, J. (1998). Environmental management: From fit to stretch. Business Strategy and the Environment. 7(3), 162-172.

Dangelico, R.M. (2015). Being green and competitive: The impact of environmental actions and collaboration on firm performance. Business Strategy and the Environment, 24(6), 413-430.

de Oliveira, M.O.R., Cleo Schmitt, H.S. and Fernando Bins, L. (2015). Brand equity estimation model. Journal of Business Research, 68(12), 2560-2568.

Deluca, H., Wagner, M. and Block, J. (2018). Sustainability and environmental behaviour in family firms: A Longitudinal analysis of environment related activities, innovation and performance. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27, 152-172.

Dibrell, C., Craig, J. and Hansen, E. (2011). How managerial attitude toward the natural environment affect market orientation and innovation, Journal of Business Research, 64(4), 401-407.

Erdogan, N. and Baris, N. (2007). Environmental protection programs and conservation practices of hotels in Ankara, Turkey. Tourism Management. 28(2), 604-614.

Erdogan, N. and Tosun, C. (2009). Environmental performance of tourism accommodations in the protected areas: Case of Gerome Historical National Park. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(3), 406-414.

Ervin, D., Wu, J., Khanna, M., Jones, C. and Wirkkala, T. (2013). Motivations and barriers to corporate environment management. Business Strategy and the Environment, 22, 390-409.

Fraj-Andre, E., Martinez-Salinas, E. and Matute-Vallejo, J. (2009). A multidimensional approach to the influence of environmental marketing and orientation on the firm’s organizational performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 88, 263-286.

Frazier, P.A., Tix, A.P. and Baron, K.E. (2004). Testing moderator and mediator in counselling psychology. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 51(1), 115-144.

French, B., and Finch, H. (2006). Confirmatory factor analytic procedures for the determination of measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 13(3), 378

Gadenne, D.L., Kennedy, J. and McKeiver, C. (2009). An empirical study of environmental awareness and practices in SMEs. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(1), 45-63.

Gebler, C.B., Rapp, A. and Richey, R.G. (2014). The effect of environmental orientation on salesperson effort and participation: The moderating role of organizational identification. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 34(3), 173-187.

Gelb, D. and Rangarajan, D. (2014). Employee contributions to brand equity. California Business Review, 96(2), 95-112.

Golicic, S. L. and Smith, C.D. (2013). A meta-analysis of environmentally sustainable supply and chain management practices and firm performance. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 49(2), 78-95.

Grundey, D. and Zaharia, R. (2008). Sustainable incentives in marketing and strategic greening: The case of Lithuania and Romania. Radica Technological Economic Development of Economy, 14(2), 130-143.

Hahn, T., Figge, F., Pinkse, J. and Preuss, L. (2010). Trade-offs in corporate sustainability: You can’t have your cake and eat it. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 217-229.

Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., Anderson, R.E. and Tatham, R.L. (2011). Multivariate Data Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson, Prentice- Hall.

Ilieva, J., Baron, S. and Healey, N.M. (2002). Online surveys in marketing research: pros and cons. Journal of Market Research, 3(44), 361-376.

Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., and Patton, G. K. (2001). The job satisfaction-job performance relationship: A qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 376 – 407

Kaiser, F.G., Oerke, B. and Bogner, F.X. (2007). Behaviour-based environmental attitude: development of an instrument for adolescents. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27, 242-251.

Kinoti, M.W. (2011). Green marketing intervention strategies and sustainable development: A conceptual paper. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 23(2), 263-272.

King, C. and Grace, D. (2009). Employee-based brand equity: A third perspective. Services Marketing Quarterly, 30, 122-147.

King, C. and Grace, D. (2010). Building and measuring employee-based brand equity. European Journal of Marketing, 44(7/8), 938-971.

King, C., Grace, D. and Funk, D.C. (2012). Employee brand equity: scale development and validation. Journal of Brand Management, 19(4), 268-288.

Klassen, R.D. and McLaughlin, C.P. (1996). The impact of environmental management on firm performance. Management Science, 42, 1199-1214.

Kristin, S., Martin, D.M. and Schouten, J.W. (2014). Marketing and new materialism. Journal of Macromarketing, 34(3), 282-290.

Langerak, F., Peelen, E. and Andvan der Veen, M. (1998). Exploring results on the antecedents and consequences of green marketing. Journal of the Market Research Society, 40(4), 323-335.

Lee, J.A. and Holden, S.J.S. (1999). Understanding the determinants of environmentally conscious behaviour. Psychology and Marketing, 16(5), 373-392.

Little, T.D. Card, N.A., Bovaird, J.A., Preacher, K.J., and Crandall, C. S. (2007). Structural equation modeling of mediation and moderation with contextual factors: In T. D. Little, J. A. Bovaird, and N. A. Card (Eds.), Modeling contextual effects in longitudinal studies (pp. 207-230).

Leonidou, L., Christodoulides, P. and Thwaites, D. (2016). External determinants and financial outcomes of an eco-friendly orientation in smaller manufacturing firms. Journal of Small Business Management. 54(1). 5-25

Leonidou, L.C., Leonidou, C.N. and Kvasova (2010). Antecedents and outcomes of consumer environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviour. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(13-14), 1319-1344.

Leonidou, L.C, Leonidou, C.N., Palihawadana, D., and Hultman M. (2011). Evaluating the green advertising practices of international firms: a trend analysis. International Marketing Review 28(1), 6-33.

Li, H., and Zhang, Y. (2007). The role of managers’ political networking and functional experience in new venture performance: Evidence from China’s transition economy. Strategic Management Journal, 28(8), 791–804.

Li,S., Jayaraman, V., Paulraj, A. and Shang, K-C. (2016). Proactive environmental strategies and performance: role of green supply chain processes and green product design in the Chinese high-tech industry. International Journal of Production Research, 54(7), 2136-2151.

Linder, M., Bjorkdahl, J. and Ljungberg, D. (2013). Environmental orientation and economic performance: A Quasi-experimental of small Swedish firms. Business Strategy and the Environment, 23(5), 333-348.

Löhndorf, B. and Diamantopoulos, A. (2014). Internal branding: Social identity and social exchange perspective on turning employees into brand champion. Journal of Service Research, 17(30, 310-325.

Magnusson, M. Arvolaa, A., Hurstia, U-K. K., Aberg, L. and Sjoden, P-O. (2003). Choice of organic foods is related to perceived consequences for human health and to environmentally friendly behaviour. Appetite, 40, 109-117.

Makmor, M. and Ismail, Z. (2014). A comparative study on EIA process in Malaysia, West Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Jurnal Teknologi, 70(1), 15-22.

McKeiver, C. and Gadenne, D. (2005). Environmental management systems in small and medium businesses. International Small Business Management, 23(50, 513-537.

Melnyk, S., Sroufe, R., Calantone, R., (2003). Assessing the impact of environmental management systems on corporate and environmental performance. Journal of Operations Management 21, 329–351.

Menon, A. and Menon, A. (1997). Enviropreneurial marketing strategy: The emergence of corporate environmentalism as marketing strategy. Journal of Marketing, 61 (Jan), 51-67.

Miles, S.J. and Mangold, G. (2005). Positioning Southwest Airlines through employee branding. Business Horizon, 48(6), 535-545.

Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C.K. and Rangaswami M.R. (2009). Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation. Harvard Business Review, 87, 56-64.

Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F.L. and Rynes, S.L. (2003). Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis. Organization Studies, 24(3), 403-441.

Patton, D. and Worthington, I. (2003). SMEs and environmental regulations: A study of the UK screen-printing sector. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 21(4), 549-566.

Petts, J., Herd, A., Gerrard, S. and Horne, C. (1999). The climate and culture of environmental compliance within SMEs. Business Strategy and Environment, 8, 14-30.

Peattie, K. and Belz, F-M. (2010). Sustainable marketing – an innovation conception of marketing. Marketing Review, 27(5), 8-15.

Polonsky, M. J. (1995). A stakeholder theory approach to designing environmental marketing strategy. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 10(3), 29-46.

Porter, M. and van der Linde, C. (1995). Green and competitive: Ending stalemate. Harvard Business Review, 73 (Sept-Oct), 120-134.

Poulis, A. and Wisker, Z.L. (2016). Modelling employee-based brand equity (EBBE) and perceived environmental uncertainty on firm’s performance. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 25 (5), 490-503.

Punjaisri, K., Evanschitzky, H. and Wilson, A. (2009). Internal branding: An enabler of employees’ brand-supporting behaviour. Journal of Service Management, 20(2), 209-226.

Riley, L. S., Kohlbacer, F. and Hofmeister, A. (2012). A cross-cultural analysis of pro-environmnetal consumer behaviour among seniors. Journal of Marketing Management, 28(3-3), 290-312.

Riketta, M. (2002). Attitudinal organisational commitment and job performance: a meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(3), 257-266.

Roxas, B. and Coetzer, A. (2012). Institutional environment, managerial attitudes and environmental sustainability orientation of small firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 111, 461-476.

Rutherford, R., Blackburn, R., and Spence, L. (2000). Environmental management and the small firm: An international comparison. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 6(6), 301-325.

Schwartz, S.H. (1970). Moral decision-making behaviour. In J. Macauley and L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and helping behaviour. New York: Academic Press.

Scott, K. Martin, D.M. and Schouten, J.W. (2014). Marketing and new materialism. Journal of Macromarketing, 34(3), 282-290.

Sejwacz, D., Ajzen, I. and Fishbein, M. (1980). Predicting and understanding weight loss, In Ajzen, I. and Fishbein, M. (eds) Understanding attitude and predicting social behaviour, 101-112, Englewood Cliffs. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sirianni, N.J., Bitner, M.J., Brown, S.W. and Mandel, N. (2013). Branded service encounters: strategically aligning employee behaviour with brand positioning. Journal of Marketing, 77(6), 108-123.

Smith, W.J., Wokutch, R.E., Harrington, K.V. and Dennis, B.S. (2001). An examination of the

influence of diversity and stakeholder role on corporate social orientation. Business and Society, 40, 266 –294.

Spanjol, J., Tam, L. and Tam, V. (2015). Employer-employee congruence in environmental values: An exploration of effects on job satisfaction and creativity. Journal of Business Ethics, 130(1), 117-130.

Stanley, L.K. and Lasonde, K.M. (1996). The relationship between environmental issue involvement and environmentally-conscious behavior: An exploratory study. Advances in Consumer Research, 23(1), 183-188.

Stone, G.W., and Wakefield, K.L. (2000). Eco-orientation: An extension of market orientation in an environmental context. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 8(3), 21-31.

Tajfel, H. (1972). Experiments in a vacuum. In the Context of Social Psychology (ed. by J. Isreal and H. Tajfel). Academic Press, London.

Tajfel, H. and Turner, J.C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflicts. In Differentiation Between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (ed. by W.G. Austion and Worchel, S). 33-47. Brooks Cole, Monterey, CA.

Tajfel, H. (1974). Social identity and intergroup behavior. Social Science Information. 13 (2): 65–93.

Tavassoli, N.T., Soresu, A. and Rajesh, C. (2014). Employee-based brand equity: why firms with strong brands pay their executive less. Journal of Marketing Research, 57(6), 676-690.

Theurer, C.P., Tumasjan, A., Welpe, I.T and Lievens, F. (2018). Employer branding: A brand equity-based literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(1), 155-179.

Trumbo, C.W., Sprecker, K.J., Dumlao, R. J., Yun, G. W. and Duke, S. (2001). Use of E-Mail and the web by science writers. Science Communications, 22(4), 347-379.

Vagasi, M. (2004). Integration of the sustainability concept into strategy and marketing. Periodica Polytechnica Ser. Social Managerial Science, 48(2), 245-260.

Van Dam, Y.K. and Apeldoorn, P.A.C. (1996). Sustainable marketing. Journal of Macromarketing, 16(20), 45-56.

Welford, R. (1996). Environmental issues and corporate environmental management in Corporate Environmental Management: System and Strategies, edited by Welford, R. 1996. Earthscan Publication: London, UK.

Welford, R. and Gouldson, A. (1993). Environmental management and business strategy, Pitman Publishing: London, UK.

Winston, A. (2009). Energize employees with green strategy. Harvard Business Review, 87, 24-34.

Yen, C-H., Chen, C-Y. and Teng, A-Y. (2013). Perceptions of environmental management and employee job attitudes in hotel firms. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism, 12, 155-174.

Young, W. (1996). Measuring, environmental performance in Corporate Environmental management: System and Strategies, edited by Welford, R. 1996. Earthscan Publication: London, UK.

Zhao, X., Lynch JR. J.G. and Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(Aug), 197-206.

Zhu, Q., and Sarkis, J. (2004). Relationships between operational practices and performance among early adopters of green supply chain management practices in Chinese manufacturing practices. Journal of Operations Management, 22(3), 265–289.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Zazli Lily Wisker, Piotr Kwiatek

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Flag Counter

Published by : 

AIBPM Publisher

Editorial Office:

JL. Kahuripan No. 9 Hotel Sahid Montana, Malang, Indonesia
+62 341 366222
Email: (Administrator), 

Supported by: Association of International Business & Professional Management 

If you are interested to get the journal subscription you can contact us

ISSN 2614-7432 (Print)
ISSN 2621-2862 (Online)

DOI: Prefix 10.32535 by CrossREF

International Journal of Applied Business and International Management (IJABIM) INDEXED:




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.