The antecedents and the impact of environmental commitment in Australian wine industry

2017-02-27T02:14:55Z (GMT) by Carrillo-Higueras, Franz
As a result of societal environmental concerns, organisations are being pushed to adopt environmental protection in their strategies and policies. In this context, it has been observed that organisations commit to the environment to different extents. Many reasons have been proposed to explain these differences, reasons that are of great relevance for groups such as governments, communities and environmental groups, since this knowledge would make it possible to positively encourage managers, guiding, educating and promoting environmental change instead of compelling it. Among the reasons that explain the differences in the ways in which organisations commit to the environment, stakeholders’ pressures are the most widely studied in the environmental management literature. However, stakeholders’ pressures are unable to explain differences in environmental commitment in organisations that are similar in size, profits and in the same industry. Other branches of literature offer additional explanations. Behavioural literature proposes that the way management teams perceive environmental commitment can be a strong predictor of the organisational adoption of this commitment, a focus that has not received adequate attention in the literature. The main motivation of this research is therefore to analyse the effect of managers’ perceptions (attitudes, perceptions of control, and perceptions about stakeholders’ pressures) as predictors of the organisational behaviour of adopting an environmental commitment, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour as guidance. In addition, this research examines the relationship between information scanning about environmental issues and managers’ perceptions, and the relationship between environmental commitment and organisational outcomes, particularly environmental performance. This was developed by studying a sample of 184 wineries in Australia. The wine industry is a good example of an industry that wishes to project an environmentally conscious image, but one that also struggles greatly with issues such as herbicides, pesticides and water management. The main findings of this research are summarised as follows. First, this study found a positive relationship between environmental commitment and environmental performance, which highlights the importance of understanding the predictors of environmental commitment. Second, the attitudes and perceptions of control, which are internal factors, are the most relevant drivers of environmental commitment, whereas stakeholders’ pressures are less relevant for managers. Third, positive relationships were found between information scanning and attitudes, perceptions of control and perceptions about stakeholders’ pressures, which highlight and reinforce the importance that information scanning has for management teams in conceptualising environmental commitment in terms of opportunities for the organisation.