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The Impact of Green Human Resource Management Practices with Sustainable and Operational Performance: A Conceptual Model

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Although wide ranges of studies are available on manufacturing sustainable performance issues, literature on green human resources management (GHRM) practices and their impact on manufacturers’ sustainable and operational performances is scarce. This study aims at identifying GHRM practices and assessing their impact on sustainable and operational performance. This current study adopted systematic literature and a content analysis approach for the development of a conceptual model. It has been found that the most influencing GHRM practices are green recruitment and selection, green training, green performance evaluation, and a green reward system. The uniqueness of this study is the evaluation of the GHRM practices with sustainable and operational performance in a single study. Moreover, the paper highlights that manufacturing organizations must focus on GHRM practices to deliver enhanced sustainable performance besides operational performance to achieve competitive advantage. For future studies, there is a need to empirically verify the proposed conceptual model presented in this paper. This study adds to the literature in the area of GHRM by advocation to tackle environmental challenges across the globe.
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The Impact of Green Human Resource
Management Practices with Sustainable
and Operational Performance:
A Conceptual Model
Ahmed Zaid and Ayham Jaaron
Abstract Although wide ranges of studies are available on manufacturing sustain-
able performance issues, literature on green human resources management (GHRM)
practices and their impact on manufacturers’ sustainable and operational perfor-
mances is scarce. This study aims at identifying GHRM practices and assessing
their impact on sustainable and operational performance. This current study adopted
systematic literature and a content analysis approach for the development of a concep-
tual model. It has been found that the most influencing GHRM practices are green
recruitment and selection, green training, green performance evaluation, and a green
reward system. The uniqueness of this study is the evaluation of the GHRM prac-
tices with sustainable and operational performance in a single study. Moreover, the
paper highlights that manufacturing organizations must focus on GHRM practices
to deliver enhanced sustainable performance besides operational performance to
achieve competitive advantage. For future studies, there is a need to empirically
verify the proposed conceptual model presented in this paper. This study adds to the
literature in the area of GHRM by advocation to tackle environmental challenges
across the globe.
Keywords Green human resource management ·Human resource management ·
Resource-based view ·Conceptual model
1 Introduction
The manufacturing sector is called the engine for the economy of any country,
especially for developing countries. In most countries, this sector is contributing
A. Zaid (B
)
Department of Logistic Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Palestine Technical
University-Kadoorie, Tulkarm, Palestine
e-mail: a.zaid@ptuk.edu.ps
A. Jaaron
Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, The Centre for Enterprise and Innovation,
Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University, Leicester L27BY, UK
e-mail: ayham.jaaron@dmu.ac.uk
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023
B. Alareeni and A. Hamdan (eds.), Innovation of Businesses, and Digitalization during
Covid-19 Pandemic, Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems 488,
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-08090-6_37
583
584 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
around 80% of the overall country’s export. Besides this, it is also known as the
largest exporting sector in the world (Abdullah et al. 2016). Even due to the reces-
sion, economic shift manufacturing maintains its growth and contributes towards the
highest after service sector for the economic growth of the country. This situation
creates enough pressure on the manufacturing sector to be more efficient and effec-
tive in its production and operations in order to be globally competitive (Mishra and
Mishra 2017). Meanwhile, environmental issues force companies to develop poli-
cies, regulations, and cultures. The variations of discernment which include the legal
obligations and pressing stakeholders are found to be affecting the performance of
organizations (Ahmad 2015). Thus, organizations must convert all their segments
toward green practices. Especially, manufacturing firms are required to focus on the
impact of the environment by seeing the relationship between social growth and
financial, particularly in terms of stand-alone virtues (Masri and Jaaron 2017). Thus,
it has become essential for manufacturing firms to convert toward green practices in
all their segments.
In addition, manufacturing firms are presumed to be involved in adopting green
practices within their operations and are expected to have good knowledge of green
implementations; this argument is also supported by Zaid et al. (2018). Hence,
this enables us to connect GHRM practices with corporate strategy in ensuring the
improvement of organizational performance (Anusingh and Shikha 2015). In light
of this, GHRM has managed to attract considerable attention from business entities
considering its concern regarding the planned and systemic arrangement of typical
human resource management (HRM) practices with the ecological organization’s
objectives. The vicissitudes of discernment in environmental sustainability which
include the legal obligation and pressing stakeholders are found to be affecting the
performance of organizations (Ahmad 2015). Therefore, it is safe to say that coordi-
nation among different areas of functional and human resources is critical (Alareeni
and Hamdan 2020; Haddock-Millar et al. 2016).
HRM is very important in ensuring that sustainability is possible to be achieved
(Jabbour and Santos 2008). The growth and development of human resource models
and frameworks have been receiving a considerable amount of attention about
numerous matters (Jackson et al. 2014; Scully-Russ 2015), which has caused the
emergence of the term GHRM that further describes the important relationship
between HRM and environmental concerns (Jabbour and Jabbour 2016; Jabbour
et al. 2010; Renwick et al. 2013). Moreover, it is evidenced that GHRM plays a
major role in management considering its ability to motivate companies to aim
higher concerning their environmental sustainability performance (Cohen et al. 2012;
Firdaus and Udin 2014; Jabbour 2015; Young et al. 2015). The world has become
a global village and now the competition has shifted from the organization level
to the network level. Thus, it can be concluded that green environmental practices
should be implemented in all parts of the system and especially human resources
that link all parts (Alareeni and Hamdan 2020; Obaid and Alias 2015). This study
aims to present comprehensive literature regarding green human resources and their
relationship with sustainable and operational performance.
The Impact of Green Human Resource 585
It has been found that most of the recognized studies have paid attention to the
performance of organizations rather than individual practices regarding the advan-
tages of GHRM (Ahmad 2015; Guerci and Carollo 2016; Mishra and Mishra 2017;
Tadi´c and Pivac 2014). Hence, it is clear that none of them have further examined the
effect of GHRM bundle practices on the manufacturing industries, especially from
the social and operational points of view. Therefore, the gap in the literature has
driven the present study to further contribute to the literature, which is predictable
to help manufacturing firms in reducing the degradation of the environment. Apart
from that, the concept of the GHRM bundle seems to suggest that the association
of interconnected essentials within GHRM practices is reliable internally, which is
dependable with strategic orientation and different contextual factors of a firm (Alfes
et al. 2013; MacDuffie 1995). On top of that, Jadhav and Mantha (2013) affirm that
GHRM bundles are able to produce significant efficiency to design synergistic effects
that are greater to slightly single GHRM practice on the performance of manufac-
turing firms (Arulrajah et al. 2016). However, the motivation behind this paper is to
develop a conceptual framework that explores the effects of GHRM bundle practices
on four dimensions of organizational performance, namely operational performance
(OP), environmental performance (EP), economic performance (Ec.P), and social
performance (SP) which are derived from the following justifications:
It has been instituted that developed countries have switched toward green prac-
tices but developing countries are lacking due to high initial cost, lack of technology,
and expertise (Vazquez et al. 2016). So, a major gap has been identified from the
literature based on the empirical evidence from manufacturing firms in developing
countries (Masri and Jaaron 2017; Rehman et al. 2016; Zhan et al. 2016), particularly
in terms of knowledge on GHRM. Hence, this paper understands the need to add
original evidence to the literature on the GHRM field. Regarding this, any effort in
decreasing the carbon footprints of developing countries’ organizations is mostly a
supportive environment as well as sustainable development.
The published GHRM literature has hypothesized and demonstrated empirically
that individual GHRM practices aim at developing the EP, Ec.P, and SP of the firm
which is believed to result in superior EP, Ec.P, and SP (Guerci et al. 2016; Jacobs
et al. 2010; Masri and Jaaron 2017; Rezaei-Moghaddam 2016). However, very little
is known about the relationships between GHRM and a full spectrum of EP and Ec.P
(Longoni et al. 2016). In addition, none of the studies have examined the relation-
ships between GHRM bundle practices and manufacturing organization’s OP and SP.
Therefore, the present study recognizes the value of a holistic view of sustainability
performance (Hahn et al. 2010), and at a subtler level the OP of manufacturing orga-
nizations (Jabbour et al. 2013a,b). Apart from that, it is recommended for further
research to be conducted to explore the simultaneous effects that may be exerted by
GHRM on a full spectrum of EP, Ec. P, SP, and OP.
The purpose of this research was to identify the influence of GHRM practices
on sustainable and operational performance. Regarding this, an extensive literature
review and content analysis were conducted based on the archival method in order
to achieve the objective of this study. On top of that, the present study employs
a methodology to review the articles cited in the databases which include Scopus,
586 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Emerald with “Green HRM” or “GHRM
bundle”. Hence, the present study acts as desk research rather than a survey or any
other mode of research. Overall, it is hoped that manufacturing firms can recognize
a helpful approach in applying GHRM practices that will aid in the improvement of
their organizational sustainable performance.
The structure of the paper is mentioned next. The following section will present
the established studies to outline the concept of GHRM and its relationship with
organization performance as well as focusing on the concept of GHRM “a bundle”
at a subtler level (Sect. 2). Next, the proposed conceptual model will be presented
(Sect. 3), while section four will delineate the discussion. Lastly, the conclusions and
recommendations for future research were illustrated in Sect. 5.
2 Literature Review
This study comprised one independent variable GHRM practices and two dependent
variables namely sustainable performance and operational performance. This part
explains a brief description of the background of the topic. First GHRM has been
discussed. Secondly, organizational performance has been illustrated. Thirdly, all
three aspects of sustainable performance such as economic, environmental, and social
performance as well as operational performance and their relations with GHRM have
been expressed.
2.1 Green Human Resource Management
HRM has become one of the essential aspects of operation due to its significant
responsibility in managing human resources (Ahmad 2015). The unapparent advan-
tage such as human capital is found to be more beneficial compared to those substan-
tial ones in ensuring the targeted value can be achieved (Bakar and Ahmad 2010).
The resource-based view (RBV) is widely recognized as a theory of well-established
that delivers the conceptual norms for the arena of research of GHRM (Arulrajah and
Opatha 2016). Moreover, RBV seems to suggest that firms may be able to develop
critical resources by increasing their competitiveness (human resources activities)
as well as strong capabilities (Barney 2001; Barney et al. 2011). Generally, environ-
mental activities tend to produce strategic resources that are believed to be difficult to
imitate (Aragón-Correa 1998; Jabbour 2015; Wagner 2011). Nevertheless, this field
of research is not foreign as the relationship between the capabilities of an organi-
zation and its competitive advantage (sustainable organizational performance) has
been sensibly disputed in most of the established studies (Aragón-Correa et al. 2008;
Clemens and Bakstran 2010; Solovida et al. 2017). Overall, RBV can be regarded as a
theoretic lens in understanding the greening of organizations (Chiappetta et al. 2017;
Yusliza et al. 2017). In this study, the RBV theory managed to articulate the initial
The Impact of Green Human Resource 587
concept of the model and connected the main practice of green human resources as
it is believed to superiorly enhance the organization.
It has been found that previously HRM focused on individual practices (Combs
et al. 2006), this study perceived GHRM practices as a “bundle” that can improve the
sustainable performance of a firm. This is corresponding with the study of Renwick
et al. (2013) which calls for more studies to be conducted in investigating the relation-
ship between organizational performance and GHRM bundle practices. Hence, this
enables the organizations to link GHRM practices with corporate strategy in ensuring
the improvement of organizational performance (Anusingh and Shikha 2015). In light
of this, GHRM has managed to attract considerable attention from business entities
considering its concern regarding the planned and systemic arrangement of typical
HRM practices with the ecological organization’s objectives. Consequently, it is safe
to say that harmonization among different areas of functional and human resources
is critical (Haddock-Millar et al. 2016). On top of that, GHRM practices are regarded
as effective tools in maintaining the sustainability of a business.
Recently, a considerable amount of studies has been concentrating on GHRM
as well as human capital towards sustainability and green issues, especially in the
context of manufacturing (Jabbour 2011; Jabbour et al. 2013a,b; Kaur 2011;Lee
2009; Unnikrishnan and Hegde 2007). Furthermore, the manufacturing sector has
majorly contributed to the issue of environmental pollution in this country which must
be assessed, monitored, and rectified (Masri and Jaaron 2017; Rehman et al. 2016).
Hence, it is necessary to manage the environmental issues which adopt different
environmentally-friendly practices due to the fact that manufacturing firms are impor-
tant for society. More importantly, several organizations are leading toward devel-
oping countries and implemented GHRM practices to generate awareness of envi-
ronmental sustainability (Ehnert et al. 2016; Jackson et al. 2011; O’Donohue and
Torugsa 2016;Renwicketal.2013). Nevertheless, GHRM practices are hardly imple-
mented by manufacturing organizations in developing countries (Masri and Jaaron
2017), and, unfortunately, the majority of them are not aware of the importance
and benefits of the practices in sustaining a business (Zhan et al. 2016). Firms have
come under inspection from stakeholders for example consumers, authoritarians,
non-governmental firms, opponents, and employees to confirm social sustainability
and environmental in business operations (Haddock-Millar et al. 2016; Vazquez et al.
2016). However, the adoption of green practices to reduce environmental woes and
improving financial performance (Yusoff et al. 2015) will help them to become more
sustainable (Jabbour and de Sousa Jabbour 2016).
Developed countries applied green practices as they are rich in resources in terms
of finance, expertise, knowledge, and support but developing countries are facing
problems like lack of technology, innovation and expertise (Tadi´c and Pivac 2014).
Hence, GHRM needs investments from resources to convert operations toward the
green. Inside the domain of environmental management, Jabbour et al. (2010) estab-
lished the distributions of certain GHRM dimensions to the evolutionary phases
of environment management. Teixeira et al. (2016) established the GHRM instances
especially for other environmental purposes by the representative of the positive effect
of green training. It has been claimed that training improves the logic of ethics in
588 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
business and accountability that expands the environmental performance. Likewise,
these investigations sustenance GHRM as a component for the overall effectiveness
of environment management (Anusingh and Shikha 2015), previous studies propose
that the associations between GHRM, environmental management, and numerous
procedures of monetary benefits are complex and further require empirical and theo-
retical development (Jabbour et al. 2010; Wagner 2011). For instance, engaging
GHRM to progress environmental strategies may upsurge the likelihood of financial
scarcity and negatively influence (Guerci and Carollo 2016).
GHRM is linked with HRM function which acts as the key factor in an organiza-
tion in implementing green creativities (Mandip 2012). Moreover, GHRM is rooted
in the philosophy of green management, practices, and policies, which is followed by
a firm for environmental management (Patel 2014). On top of that, firms will be able
to improve their EP’s sustainably by gaining a deeper understanding of the GHRM
practices (Arulrajah et al. 2016) because GHRM practices are considered as a more
influential tool in making industries and their green operations (Renwick et al. 2008).
Hence, it is safe to say that green behavior, green performance, green competency,
and green attitude, of HRM, can be designed and redesigned through the adaptation
of GHRM practices (Arulrajah et al. 2016). GHRM consists of all practices policies,
systems, and activities to assist a firm to execute its programs in order to become an
environmental organization. In this case, the organization is required to decline its
carbon emission and rise carbon credits as well as in areas pertaining to boarding
procurement of induction, manpower, supervision, performance, training and devel-
opment, reward management, and compensation (Opatha and Arulrajah 2014).
GHRM is also considered as one of the strategic management tools to diffuse
green ideologies within firms (Aragón-Correa et al. 2013; Deshwal 2015). Firdaus
and Udin (2014) further state that a high number of firms have utilized GHRM,
whereby the implementation of GHRM has seen to benefit the organization in terms
of creating employees with better morale and green organizations that can produce
better financial performance. Moreover, GHRM becomes important in the arena of
management business due to the growing hold of the companies considering that the
green creativity and initiatives can benefit the environment and increase the retention
of talent and appeal pool (Govindarajulu and Daily 2004; Patel 2014).
The previous literature on HRM has received little attention because most of
the published studies only focused on the view of the impact of practices on firm
performance (Combs et al. 2006). A study by Renwick et al. (2013) hypothesizes that
GHRM practices might have well effects on organizational and environmental perfor-
mance through a joint implementation. Recently, it can be observed that re-searchers
have reached further dimensions regarding the association between human resource
practices and organizations performances based on the assumption that organizations
performances will be more noteworthy if the impact of human resource practices is
observed as a synergic influence of mutual practices, generally called “bundles”
instead of relying on a single and isolated variable (Combs et al. 2006; Tadi´c and
Pivac 2014). Furthermore, “bundles” should represent the combinations of inter-
connected and consistent human resource practices that should be complementing
each other. The integration of practices shows a better and more straight impact on
The Impact of Green Human Resource 589
the competitive advantage of companies and the performance of the organization
(MacDuffie 1995). A considerable amount of research has been carried out in the
attempt of identifying the relationship between HRM practices and the performance
of the company through interrelated and aggregated essentials of human resource
practices (Bowen and Ostroff 2004).
The focusing concept of the GHRM bundle is mostly linked to the configurational
point of view, which recommends that the consortium of associated essentials of
GHRM practices should be performed in an internally reliable way to ensure that
they are in line with various contextual factors and the firm strategic orientation (Alfes
et al. 2013). Moreover, GHRM requires workers to be involved fully in the effort of
getting olive green (Wagner 2013), in which they are recommended to continuously
practice green endeavors at their workplace. Further, this practice assumes to be
included in training sessions, recruitment, and compensation (Wood 2014)asitis
believed to be able in establishing GHR (Rani and Mishra 2014). According to Jadhav
and Mantha (2013), the GHRM bundle acts as an adhesive that attaches numerous
practices in order to form a synchronous unit. Concerning this, the joint benefits
between employees and organizations ought to indicate consistent sequence and
internally reliable human resource practices. Overall, the incorporation of practices
is expected to unveil a greater impact on the improvement and performance of a
company (Tadi´c and Pivac 2014).
In summary, this paper focuses on GHRM practices as a “bundle” instead of
treating them as specific individual practices based on the two reasons derived from
the recent green HRM literature. First, it is highly recommended for future studies
to widen their knowledge by investigating a broader aspect of GHRM standards
in developing a more detailed arrangement that recognizes the potential issues and
advantages in dealing with sustainability difficulty to achieve one of the objectives
of the current paper which is to exploit GHRM best practices to improve the firm’s
sustainable performance (Guerci and Carollo 2016; Jackson 2012). Second, only a
limited number of studies have been conducted on GHRM bundle practices; hence,
this shows the need to conduct more quantitative studies on the entire GHRM system
instead of only focusing on several GHRM practices (Longoni et al. 2016; Renwick
et al. 2013). Consequently, this research reflects the term of GHRM bundle as an orga-
nized set of HRM practices that will influence sustainable performance. However, it
is important to note that these practices must be aligned with HR management strate-
gies and objectives of the firm’s green management plan (Chiappetta et al. 2017).
Hence, the GHRM bundle practices involve the human/organizational aspects that
are deemed relevant to the green issues, namely green selection and recruitment,
green training and evaluation of performance, and green rewards (Chiappetta et al.
2017; Guerci et al. 2016; Jabbour et al. 2013a,b; Longoni et al. 2016; Masri and
Jaaron 2017; Tang et al. 2017).
The above elements have to be highlighted by those who are responsible to guide
a team with the main concern of instilling environmental-friendly attitudes in the
working environment (Kim et al. 2017). In regard to this, the ecological opera-
tion practiced by a company is shown based on its environmental habit and values
(Jackson et al. 2011). On a similar note, it should be noted that environmental-friendly
590 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
practice is considered as one of the backbones of GHRM (Chiappetta et al. 2017;
Jabbour et al. 2013a,b; Renwick et al. 2013) which is expected to emphasize the
importance of ecological knowledge, change in habit, and enhancement of operation
abilities (Sudin 2011). In this case, a fundamental grasp on ecological awareness will
lead to a promising ecological practice (Mohanty and Prakash 2014; Renwick et al.
2013), including the importance of assessing the ecological accomplishment as part
of GHRM (Jabbour et al. 2010). However, it should be noted that constant assessment
tends to hinder the workers from practicing ecological operations (Renwick et al.
2013).
2.2 Organizational Performance
An organization’s comprehensive performance includes sustainability performances
and operational performance, which can be used to assess the environmental,
economic, social, and operational superiority of the organization, respectively (Geng
et al. 2017; Jabbour et al. 2013a,b; Younis et al. 2016). EP is a description of the
organizational capacity to minimize air emission and discharge, reduce hazardous
and harmful material utilization, and lessen the incidence of environmental inci-
dents (Zhu et al. 2013). In addition, environmental performance reflects the ability
of the organization to protect nature and its integrity for future generations (Ricardo
et al. 2011). According to Daily and Huang (2001), organizations are enhancing their
environmental performance by setting human resource management practices that
support the entire adoption and implementing an environmental management system.
Gunasekaran et al. (2015) stated that organizations are restructuring their relation-
ship for enhanced environmental performance and tuning to clients and suppliers to
get data and help them concerning contamination avoidance.
The Ec.P refers to the economic and marketing performances that are enhanced
due to the incorporation of green practices, which improves organizational stature
compared to industrial standards (Zhu et al. 2013). The improvement of finances
en-compasses decreased costs of purchasing material, energy consumption, waste
dis-charge, and cost of environmental accidents (Younis et al. 2016). The improve-
ments based on marketing conditions include an increased rate of return on sales,
increased earnings and average earnings growth, and an increase in average market
share growth (Abdullah et al. 2014). Furthermore, it is undeniable that hiring environ-
mentally conscious workers will be very appealing to the environmental reputation
of the organizations (Patel 2014). Correspondingly, motivation, skills, retention, and
job-related results can be improved along with the economic performance of the
organization by enhancing the involvement of employees in green actions apart from
providing clear environmental goals and sufficient training (Anusingh and Shikha
2015; Teixeira et al. 2016).
According to the social aspect, the SP has a significant impact on green prac-
tices that are linked to the company’s image and its assets from the viewpoint of
stakeholders, such as customers, workers, suppliers, and the public (Newman et al.
The Impact of Green Human Resource 591
2016). Nowadays, incorporating SP has become vital to stimulate business. So, it
became mandatory for firms can contribute to the social aspects through the integrated
approach with human resource members (Rothenberg et al. 2017). This integrated
approach among human resource members can encourage interconnection inside and
outside society and be assured of customer satisfaction (Huo et al. 2015). Finally, the
OP is described as the efficiency of the firm’s operations which involves the quality
of the product, costs, flexibility of items, delivery, development of the new product,
and time-to-market the new products (González-Benito and González-Benito 2005;
Jabbour et al. 2013a,b). The upcoming sections will discuss deeply each component
of organizational performance employed in this study and their relations to GHRM
bundle practices.
2.3 GHRM Practices and Environmental Performance
The concern of EP is to save energy and at the same time reduce waste, pollution,
and emissions (Walls et al. 2012). Moreover, it should be noted that GHRM requires
employees to be fully involved in their attempt of getting greener (Wagner 2013),
or in other words, continuously practicing green endeavors in their workplace. On
a similar note, this practice should be involved in training, recruitment, develop-
ment, and compensation (Wood 2014) to establish green human resources (Rani
and Mishra 2014). The existing literature asserts that organizations can adopt suit-
able human resource practices to inspire their workers in achieving the objectives
of environmental sustainability (Ahmad 2015). Regarding this, a deeper investiga-
tion should be conducted in determining the factors that engage the employees to
be instilled with pro-environmental behavior as well as to help organizations to
become greener (Paillé et al. 2014). Moreover, it is crucial to note that companies
cannot take action without the employee’s support, particularly in way of knowl-
edge, commitment, employee’s skills, and productivity (Zhu et al. 2012). On top
of that, GHRM strives to improve competency, destroy environmentally, and re-
establish human resource tools, products, and procedures with better efficiency but
at a lower cost. More importantly, Haddock-Millar et al. (2016) highlight the impli-
cation of pushing ‘greening’ functions as an important element in improving Ec.P
and EP. Paillé et al. (2014) emphasize that the EP of a company will be enhanced and
the worker will feel prompted regarding the implementation of GHRM which will
subsequently provide the company with a more serious business position. Moreover,
GHRM plays a very important role in enriching the well-being of the workers as
well as enhancing EP (Renwick et al. 2013). According to a study conducted on
German companies, there is a positive relationship between the adoption of sustain-
ability standards and the company’s accomplishments which are moderated through
the connection of the workers (Wolf 2014). On top of that, the companies that are
mainly concerned about having an excellent ecological operation are recommended
to choose and hire workers that can be committed to handling ecological problems,
particularly through the implementation of GHRM (Chiappetta et al. 2017; Renwick
592 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
et al. 2013). A study by Russo and Fouts (1997) recommended that RBV is accom-
plished of distinguishing the resources utilized by the organization which is believed
to affect the organization’s EP and ultimately improve its Ec.P (Solovida et al. 2017).
2.4 GHRM Practices and Economic Performance
Ec.P refers to profitability in general which acts as a significant reason for compa-
nies to implement HRM practices (Tadi´c and Pivac 2014). Most of the published
studies agree that financial performances are mainly driven by worker outcomes
which are highly related to several environmental-oriented practices including moti-
vation, involvement, and competence, (Jabbour and de Sousa Jabbour 2016; Masri
and Jaaron 2017). Nevertheless, it is undeniable that hiring environmentally aware
employees is appealing to firms considering that employees will be encouraged to get
involved in environmental training that can expand their level of skills, motivation
level, job-related results, and retention, and also provide environmental activities
(Anusingh and Shikha 2015; Teixeira et al. 2016), thereby resultantly increase the
Ec.P of the organizations. In relation to this, it should be noted that the Ec.P of
an organization can be improved through the enhancement of human/social results
by providing several interior benefits, for instance, capabilities of development,
providing career opportunities, conducting work-life balance (WLB) plans, and also
practicing ethical activity and culture. In addition, firm brand and profitability are
influenced positively by the environmental outcomes of the business (Khojastehpour
and Johns 2014).
Furthermore, pro-environmental initiatives are performed by implementing
GHRM practices. However, the previous studies on green human resource domains
managed to reveal a positive relationship between GHRM practices and Ec.P
(Dangelico 2015; Longoni et al. 2016; Miles and Covin 2000; O’Donohue and
Torugsa 2016). In regard to this, Margaretha and Saragih (2013) recommended that
organizations tend to focus on green sustainable business practices by initiating a
greener culture of corporate to have better productivities, minimize costs, and a
better environment for engagement of the employee. Moreover, Firdaus and Udin
(2014) state that a large number of firms have utilized GHRM and they managed
to gain better profit, superior assurance for the representatives, and better financial
performance for green associations. Longoni et al. (2016) affirm that economic value
can only be produced by a very inspired and dedicated workforce. In addition, the
growing awareness among the citizens in regard to environmental issues has initi-
ated the first step of transforming the world into a green economy (Khurshid and
Darzi 2016). Additionally, it is undeniable that hiring environmentally conscious
workers will produce workers who are talented will be very appealing to the envi-
ronmental reputation of the organization (Patel 2014). Correspondingly, motivation,
skills, retention, and job-related results can be improved along with the Ec.P of the
organization by enhancing the involvement of employees in green actions apart from
providing clear environmental goals and sufficient training (Anusingh and Shikha
The Impact of Green Human Resource 593
2015; Teixeira et al. 2012). Also, the study conducted by O’Donohue and Torugsa
(2016) emphasizes that GHRM play a crucial role in improving both the EP and Ec.P
of the Australian manufacturing firms through the enhancement of employees’ capa-
bilities, inspiring staff by investing resources in them, and encouraging commitment
to environmental-friendly human resource practices which is believed to significantly
contribute to better economic benefits for the firm. Dangelico (2015) states that firms
with higher levels of profits are capable to add value to their environmental sustain-
ability by investing more money to build employee green teams, which is expected
to enhance their EP and their reputation.
On top of that, GHRM plays a major role in refining both the environmental
and financial performance (Renwick et al. 2013). According to Viswanathan (2017),
firms that adhere to sustainable GHRM practices will be able to boost their sales for a
long-term duration as well as reduce expenses by achieving a higher volume of sales.
Moreover, GHRM proposals yield better efficiencies, reduced cost (Goswami and
Ranjan 2015), and enhanced working environment to promote better engagement of
employees, which in turn helps the organizations to operate in a green sustainable
fashion (Deshwal 2015). Delmas and Pekovic (2013) affirm that the adoption of
green HRM principles and practices provides the opportunity for firms to improve
their profit margins, reduce negative effects on the environment, and enhance their
work rate.
2.5 GHRM Practices and Social Performance
The main concern of SP is to identify the outcomes of the GHRM practices in
regard to the enhancement of product and company image, protection of employee
health and safety, and maintenance of customer loyalty and satisfaction (Khurshid
and Darzi 2016). Wagner (2013) claims that organizations are managed to obtain
tangible through investing in social responsibilities that are probably able to make
strengthen an organization’s performance regarding satisfaction level of customer
and employee, recruitment excellent staff, and innovation. As mentioned by Rezaei-
Moghaddam (2016), the manufacturing firms that invested in social programs had to
take a significant stage to strengthen GHRM, in which the plan of the agendas must
focus on employees’ safety and their health-related issue to prevent them from being
showing to detrimental emissions. Apart from the reporting role, the mounting of
these agendas is expected to sustainably enhance the performance of manufacturing
firms.
On top of that, organizations that adopted GHRM practices had been found to
meaningfully contribute to the living conditions of the workers as well as satisfying
the environmental needs of the employees, which led to a positive impact on the
Ec.P of the organization and employees welfare (Renwick et al. 2013). Aggarwal
and Sharma (2015) mention numerous advantages or benefits of GHRM in achieving
broader objectives which include developing a green employer image in order to
attract green talents, enhance the brand image of an organization in the market and
594 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
act as a marketing strategy, More importantly, it will be very useful to enhance
the overall quality of the organization both internally and externally as well as
to improve the relationship between the company and its stakeholders-customers,
vendors, shareholders, suppliers, employees, the media, and government agencies.
In the SP case, organizations need to authorize that their operation of production is
en-compassed of social events that can enhance the outcome of plant actions on inte-
rior communities such as employees of the organization and exterior communities
such as customers and suppliers (Pullman et al. 2009). Moreover, it is foreseeable that
the adoption of social and environmental programs such as appropriate health and
environmental conditions for employees and external projects directed to the commu-
nity will be able to improve the SP of the company and its image as well as reduce
their operational costs, (Gimenez et al. 2012). On a more important note, manufac-
turing organizations that addressed green issues and implemented green initiatives
are recommended to integrate environmental management into HRM (Masri and
Jaaron 2017). In addition, GHRM can help firms to build strong relationships with
customers and suppliers (Khurshid and Darzi 2016). In general, an organization that
shows concern for the environment will be regarded as a good corporate entity thus
will eventually help the organizations to build their loyal customer groups and gain
the necessary confidence of this group in times of difficulties (Mandip 2012).
2.6 GHRM Practices and Operational Performance
As mention before, the operational performance (OP) was described as the efficiency
of the firm’s operations which involves the costs of the product, quality and flexibility,
development of the new product, delivery, and time-to-market the new products
(Jabbour et al. 2013a,b). In relation to this, Bayo and Decerio (2002) investigated the
association between OP and HRM practices in terms of effectiveness, quality and
excellence, and time-based measures. The results of their study revealed that HRM
practices are able to improve the firm’s OP through high-commitment practices that
are believed to foster employee’s aptitude in gaining the best quality and time. In
addition, Ahmad and Schroeder (2003) found that HRM practices have a positive
impact on the firms’ OP (i.e. quality of product delivery time, and flexibility to change
volume). However, it was pointed out that very little attention has been paid to the
impact of HRM practices on operations management and the ability to generalize
the findings across different industries and countries.
On a more serious note, only a few studies partially investigated the direct
association between GHRM bundle practices and OP. For instance, Jabbour et al.
(2013a,b) found that human resource practices have a positive impact on environ-
mental management which was found to improve the OP of Brazilian automotive
firms. Hence, it was concluded that managers should pay further devotion to the
human side of environmental management as it is believed to improve operating
performance. Therefore, this further indicates that the human side of environmental
management has a strong ability to improve the operational capabilities of the firms.
The Impact of Green Human Resource 595
Tabl e 1 GHRM empirical studies in various countries
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Jabbour (2011) Greening of HRM
practices, organizational
culture, learning, and
teamwork in
Brazilian manufacturing
companies with ISO 14001
certification
Qualitative Firm performance The importance of
considering the alignment
of the human resource
practices systematically in
order to put workers in
control of environmental
management
Jabbour et al. (2013a,b)Green team Brazil-Certified industrial
companies with ISO 14001
Quantitative EP Green team directly
influence environmental
performance
Tad i ´candPivac(2014) HRM bundle practices All Croatian Enterprises
listed on the Zagreb Stock
Exchange Market
Quantitative Ec.P The results confirmed
positive and statistically
significant correlation
between HRM bundle and
Ec.P
Yosef et al. (2015)GHRM (CSR), (E-HRM)
Work-life Balance (WLB),
Green Policies and Extra
Care Program
Multinational companies in
Malaysia
Qualitative EP and Ec.P The results revealed that
most of the investigated
companies place a very
high importance on Green
HRM reflecting on five
concepts—Corporate
Social Responsibility
(CSR), Electronic HRM
(E-HRM), Work-life
Balance (WLB), Green
Policies and Extra Care
Program
(continued)
596 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
Tabl e 1 (continued)
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Haddock-Millar et al.
(2016)
Green employee
engagement and
GHRM
Manufacturing and service
organizations in United
States, Sweden, UK and
Germany
Qualitative EP The study identified a
number of factors that
explain the differences in
approach including,
amongst others, strategic
and performance drivers
and cultural dimensions,
such as relationships with
key stakeholders
Rehman et al. (2016)Green manufacturing(GM):
Top management
commitment Customers
focus Technology
innovation Organisational
capabilities
Indian manufacturing
sectors
Quantitative Financial and manpower
performance, Operational
performance,
Competitive advantages
Identification,
prioritisation of guiding
factors, its modelling, and
validation, which
influence various
manufacturing practices,
and drastically affect
organisational
performance
O’Donohue and Torugsa
(2016)
Proactive environmental
management GHRM
practices
Indian manufacturing
sectors
Quantitative Financial performance The findings reveal that
GHRM positively
moderates the association
between proactive
environmental
management and financial
performance
(continued)
The Impact of Green Human Resource 597
Tabl e 1 (continued)
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Zhan et al. (2016)Green and lean practice:
Leadership and
management Employee
involvement Mindset and
attitude
Chinese manufacturing
sectors
Quantitative Business performance
and EP
The findings explain that
Guanxi between
organisational partners
improves the positive
effect of green and lean
practice on organisational
performance
Vazquez et al. (2016) Training, assessment,
reward and teamwork
Stakeholders pressures
Brazilian manufacturing
companies with ISO 14001
certification
Quantitative Proactive environmental
management practices
The results highlight the
role of GHRM in
explaining corporate
heterogeneity of
responses to stakeholders’
pressures and contribute
to theory by
conceptualizing Agency
theory as a bridge
between GHRM and
stakeholders research
Teixeira et al. (2016) Green training ISO 14001-certified firms
in Brazil
Quantitative Green purchasing
Cooperation with
customer
The results indicated that
green training is
positively correlated with
the adoption of green
supply chain practices in
green purchasing and
cooperation with
customers
(continued)
598 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
Tabl e 1 (continued)
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Guerci and Carollo
(2016)
Job design, involvement,
compensation,
performance management,
recruitment, selection and
training
Six Italian companies Qualitative GP Ec.P SP The findings encompass
the main characteristics of
the GHRM systems of the
organizations analyzed,
and a list is provided of
eight GHRM-related
paradoxes
Yusliza et al. (2017) Green employee
empowerment e-HRM
Manufacturing and service
organizations in Malaysia
Quantitative GHRM green employee
empowerment has a
significant positive
relationship with all
dimensions of GHRM
Solovida et al. (2017) Environmental strategy and
Environmental
management accounting
Indonesia-ISO 14001
certified company listed on
the Indonesia Stock
Exchange
Quantitative EP Environmental strategy
can directly influence
environmental
performance through
environmental
management accounting
(continued)
The Impact of Green Human Resource 599
Tabl e 1 (continued)
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Masri and Jaaron (2017)Green recruitment and
selection; green training
and development, green
performance management
and appraisal, green reward
and compensation, green
employee empowerment
and participation, and
green management of
organizational culture
Palestinian manufacturing
companies operating in
three manufacturing sectors
(i.e. food, chemical and
pharmaceutical sectors)
Mix method EP GHRM has a significant
positive relationship with
EP
Kim et al. (2019) Green HRM Thailand-Hotel industry Quantitative Employees’ eco-friendly
behaviour; Employees’
organizational
commitment and hotels’
EP
The findings show that
green human resource
management enhances
employees’ organizational
commitment, their
eco-friendly behavior, and
hotels’ environmental
performance
Yong et al. (2020) Green analysis and job
description; Green
recruitment; Green
selection; Green training;
Green performance
assessment and Green
rewards
Large manufacturing firms
in Malaysia
Quantitative EP; Ec.P and SP The results show that
green recruitment and
green training have
positive effects on
sustainability
(continued)
600 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
Tabl e 1 (continued)
Study GHRM aspect Country Methodology Performance Findings
Mousa and Othman
(2020)
Green hiring; Green
training and involvement;
Green performance
management and
compensation
Palestine-Hospital industry Mix method EP; Ec.P and SP Resluts revealed that
GHRM practices had a
positive influence on
sustainable performance
Tah ir et al. ( 2020)Green recruitment and
selection; Green training
and development; Green
performance management;
Green reward; Employees
empowerment and
participation in
environmental programs
Pakistan-IT firms Quantitative OCB-Environmental; EP The results indicate that
the dimensions of green
HRM have significant
positive effects on
OCB-environment and
firms’EP
Jamal et al. (2021)Green recruitment and
selection, green pay and
rewards, and green
employee involvement
Different industrial sectors
of Pakistan such as
manufacturing, banking,
education, and information
technology (IT)
Quantitative Corporate sustainability The results provide more
contextualized social,
environmental, and
economic implications to
academics and
practitioners interested in
green initiatives
The Impact of Green Human Resource 601
Table 1shows the previous empirical studies of GHRM conducting in different
countries.
3 Proposed Conceptual Model
A conceptual model is recommended to be developed based on the evidence that
has been identified from the previous literature in order to explore the relationship
between GHRM bundle practices and EP, Ec.P. SP, and OP (see Fig. 1). In this
paper, GHRM bundle practices that are comprised of green selection and recruitment,
green training, green rewards, and green performance of evaluation are found to
have a positive impact on organizational performance (i.e. EP, Ec.P, SP, and OP).
The previous assumption is derived from the RBV theory which recommends that
aspects of humanity that have a positive impact on the ability of the firms to adopt
new organizational practices (i.e., GHRM bundle practices) (Barney 1991)aswell
as improve the performance of the firms (Barney et al. 2011).
As presented in Fig. 1, it is imperative to note that the proposed model in the present
study does not consist of a complete measurement set of scales due to the constraint
surrounding the entire GHRM and the sustainable performance of a single study.
Hence, a conceptual framework is derived (asshown in Fig. 1) and four propositions
are formulated based on the above assertions:
P1: There is a positive and significant relationship between GHRM bundle
practices and organizational performance.
P1a: There is a positive and significant relationship between GHRM bundle
practices and EP.
P1b: There is a positive and significant relationship between GHRM bundle
practices and Ec.P.
Fig. 1 The proposed conceptual model
602 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
P1c: There is a positive and significant relationship between GHRM bundle
practices and SP.
P1d: There is a positive and significant relationship between GHRM bundle
practices and OP.
4 Discussion
Indeed, GHRM and sustainable performance both are closely related to HRM. More-
over, it has been highlighted that previous studies on HRM extensively focused on
practices of the individual level instead of a set of the practices, thus driving the
present study to further explore GHRM practices as a bundle (Combs et al. 2006;
Guerci and Carollo 2016; Longoni et al. 2016; Renwick et al. 2013). On top of
that, the distribution of environmental standards and ideologies through the GHRM
bundle may incubate based on environmental management on the motivation and
employee’s skills which will subsequently create an opportunity for the employees
to contribute to the development of the environment of the organization (Cantor et al.
2012). In fact, a high number of researchers have emphasized that sustainability is
an evolutionary part and it is the future of HRM (Jackson et al. 2014; Renwick et al.
2016).
More importantly, GHRM is deemed effective considering that it equips the orga-
nizations with environmentally aware, dedicated, and capable employees that will
be able to support the organization to reduce its footprints carbon through the effec-
tive and efficient use of prevailing resources (Ashraf et al. 2015). Apart from that,
the adoption of GHRM practices is very beneficial based on the fact that it can
create greater efficacies, low cost, an atmosphere with the better engagement of the
employee, improved productivity, and other tangible benefits (Ahmad 2015) that are
hoped to assist the organizations to work in sustainable environment fashion (Rani
and Mishra 2014). According to Pandey et al. (2016), firms that adhere to GHRM
practices will be able to improve their sales and reduce costs by achieving a higher
volume of sales. Furthermore, the companies that provided social responsibilities
had been discovered to gain tangible benefits that are probably to make performance
toward strengthening for the firms which include satisfaction level of employees
and their customers, recruitment of excellent staff, and innovation (Wagner 2013).
However, there were no studies that examined the direct association between GHRM
bundle practices and a firm’s OP.
Regarding this matter, the purpose of this paper was to explore the relationships
between organizational performance and, GHRM practices bundle particularly from
the environmental, economic, social, and operational points of view. The conceptual
model adopted in this study is mainly grounded within RBV which was developed
by Barney (1991), whereby it acknowledges that relying on the resources alone
may not bring any benefit. However, the advantage of the competitor may be conse-
quential from the collaboration mechanism of numerous resources (Barney 2001;
Hohenstein et al. 2014). On top of that, these features were also found in GHRM
The Impact of Green Human Resource 603
which is considered as a vital approach in disseminating environmental standards
and ideologies as well as producing talented and committed employees through the
implementation of environmental ideologies within the firm in order to improve its
performance (Chiappetta et al. 2017; Jackson and Seo 2010; Lengnick-Hall et al.
2013). Concisely, this study revealed that all hypotheses proposed in the conceptual
model are well supported.
The GHRM practices as “a bundle” have been proven to have a significant contri-
bution to the sustainable performance of manufacturing organizations. Furthermore,
the relationship between GHRM bundle practices and OP is also significant consid-
ering that more strength is added into the model. Finally, GHRM bundle practices
have a high chance to improve worth to the green development of the firm as well as
being engaged in an essential tool that is capable of employee’s motivation, inspiring,
and employees stimulating to impose green practices for a greener system that is
believed to enhance the sustainability performance of manufacturing firm. In addi-
tion, the absence of the framework in the study partially describes the wide range
of definition conceptualizations and terms that were found in the literature of practi-
tioners and researchers. Hence, the association among the GHRM bundle practices
firm performance is crucial to gain a competitive advantage. In summary, it can
be concluded that the success of GHRM practices is contingent on the adoption of
GHRM practices as bundles instead of relying on individual practices.
5 Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Research
It is concluded that rapidly changing environments strongly demand green practices
in all aspects of organizations but if human resources are being built on green practices
it ultimately affects all the segments of the organization. This study identifies that
green human resources practices have positive and significant effects on all elements
of overall organizational performance that contain both sustainable performance (i.e.
Ec.P, EP, and SP) and OP. Furthermore, it has been found that the most influencing
GHRM practices are green recruitment and selection, green performance evaluation,
green training, and a green reward system. Thus, it can be said that organizational
practices must be associated with environmental practices by adopting green human
resources practices such as green recruitment and selection, green training, green
performance evaluation, and green reward system to compete globally. This study
can contribute to the conceptualisation of GHRM bundle practices, involving green
recruitment and selection, green training, green performance evaluation, and a green
reward system and provide the managers the ability to train themselves regarding
the GHRM bundle practices with its implication. On the concluding note, we would
like to add that HRM is the major role player in implementing GHRM practices
and policies. Apart from this, they have a crucial role to play in recruitment of new
employees who are more responsible toward green business practices thus, indirectly
saving the Earth.
604 A. Zaid and A. Jaaron
Like any other study, this study has a few limitations. Firstly, since this study did
not adopt a research design that allows us to explore the relationships between GHRM
bundle practices and firm performance (EP, Ec.P, SP and OP). Future research should
try to validate the model empirically in country-specific and comparative research
designs. Next, the conceptual GHRM bundle model could be compared with models
for other transition countries (e.g. Asia) and other regional GHRM models in Europe.
Finally, a sound theoretical background is lacking in most of the highly cited GHRM
articles, which should be taken into account in future research (Shoaib et al. 2021).
Such research promises to help organizations reduce environmental degradation and
reap the benefits of environmental protection and renewal, further contributing to the
benefit of all organizational stakeholders in the future.
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thanks Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie
for supporting this research.
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