South Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Year: 2021 (Apr), Volume: 2, Issue. (2) First page: (1) Last page: (12) Online ISSN: 2582-7065 doi: 10.48165/sajssh.2021.2201
The Influence of Green Human Capital and Green Abilities on Employee Green Behavior with Moderating Role of Green Knowledge Sharing: A Conceptual Study
1Laila Ahmed, 2Aemin Nasir, 3Anam Nasir and 4Ayesha Bakhtawar
1Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Pakistan,
2University Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia,
3Superior University, Lahore, Pakistan
4Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Corresponding Author: Aemin Nasir, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Published: 10-April-2021
Received: 28th November 2020
Accepted: 21st February 2021
How to cite the Article
Green human resource management considers the environmental affairs that contribute social and economical well-being of firms and employees. The implementation of green HR practices has been observed in developed countries as scholars and practitioners focused on the environmental concerns. The current conceptual paper is an attempt to investigate the role of green abilities and green human capital to predict the employee’s green behavior. The prime concern of the current study is to analyze the literature of green human resource management and practices that influence the green behavior of employees. The research concludes that green abilities can be generated through effective green training and development approach, the green human capital can be acquired through effective green recruitment and selection procedure. The green knowledge sharing expected to moderate by strengthening the relationship between green human capital and green abilities to explain the employee green behavior.
Green Human Resource Management, Green Abilities, Green Human Capital, Employee’s Green Behavior, Knowledge Management, Green Knowledge Sharing
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The significant area of management related to human perspective plays vital role in organizational success and sustainability. The green perspective of human resource management has become the important component of the sustainability (Zakaria, N., Nasir, A., & Akhtar, A., 2019). The green practices in conducting the business operations and adoption of green policies to execute business functions that encourage environment protection initiatives and boost the satisfaction level and morale of employee (Mampra 2013). The firms strive to devise the strategies and policies that promote ecological concern and prevent environmental damage that arise due to firm’s operations. The green practices and policies related to managing the human resource does not only support the environmental concerns but also contribute in the economic and social well-being of employees and firms at large that influence the sustainability. The greening practices comprises on different policies that affect the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainability (Nasir, A., & Rao, K. S., 2020). There are number of studies have been conducted on green human resource management specifically focused on the Western region and assessed the significance of greening aspect on economic development, however lot of potential areas in green HRM still untapped and various areas are lagging behind that can be viewed in publications of researchers and practitioners. It has been occurred in the previous studies that green scop, coverage, process model and research agendas are still untapped areas that largely influenced by greening practices (Renwick, Redman et al. 2013).
The green HRM has attracted the large number of research scholars due to increased concern of environmental protection as multinational companies attempted to examine the role of greening perspective in health sector, sports industry, manufacturing industry and various other industries (Yusliza, Othman et al. 2017, Yong, Yusliza et al. 2019). The research studies have highlighted the need to undertake the assessment of green human resource management practices in organizations according to their scop for environmental concerns by devising the strategies and policies that fulfill the requirements for environment protection. It has been expressed in literature that green HRM practices has taken the interest of scholars that attract the talent and retain the employees that considered as human capital, it also assists in cost reduction and one of the major sources of gaining competitive advantages (Nasir, A., & Pakistan, B., 2015). The implementation of green HR practices enables firms to enhance the productivity, performance and efficiency and increase the business sustainability, further it contributes in improving the well-being of employees and organizations (Carmona Moreno, Céspedes Lorente et al. 2012, Gholami, Rezaei et al. 2016, Shoaib, Abbas et al. 2021). The greening aspect of the management increases the organizational commitment for the accomplishment of the organizational goals (Khan, S., & Nayab, H. et al., 2015). The research scholars have found that firms must be able to incorporate the HR practices that promote and protect the environment and plays vital role in sustainability of the firm by reducing the carbon emission, pollution and environmental degradation. The greening aspect in managing employees enhance the overall competencies, motivation and commitment of employees that increase the loyalty, involvement and satisfaction. The HR practices observed to be influential in modifying the attitude and behavior of employees that ultimately increase the performance, so therefore firms are required to take initiatives towards greening procedures (Elrehail, Harazneh et al. 2019, Jawaad, Amir et al. 2019).
The green HRM significantly contributes for environmental sustainability by developing the green employee abilities that involve in attracting, selection and training of employees, the green employee motivation encourage the workforce for green initiatives that also assist in gaining the competitive advantage. The green competencies possess more value through green training that is essential for enhancing the capabilities to perform better in operational activities (Shoaib, Abbas et al. 2021). The sustainability has become most crucial and wanted phenomenon that has received much attention and considered as mainstream organizational activities. The sustainability has become more sensitive issue due to increased attention towards environmental concerns for protecting the environment by reducing the carbon emission and damages. The environment management brings benefits to the organizations by investing in environmentally friendly initiatives that distinctively influence the greening image and secure the competitive edge in highly competitive business environment as the firms moves towards green practices prior to the competitors. The organizations stimulate the green behavior among employees by gaining advantage of greening opportunities in business operations (Chillakuri and Vanka 2020). The research scholars have focused on shaping the green behavior as it has received much attention that plays vital role in solving problems related to environmental concerns during the operational activities. The sustainable environment influenced by the green practices that have been incorporated in management that affect the employees’ behavior for being pro-environmental attitude to ensure the overall environmental performance (Kim, Kim et al. 2019).
The current study intends to establish the logical relationship and influence of green HR practices to determine the green employee behavior that is necessary for organizational success and being environmentally friendly to protect the environment by reducing the damages, reduction in cost incurred and improvement in performance. The current research effort argues to be pioneer in explaining the relationship between green abilities, green human capital and green knowledge sharing to determine the green behavior of employees.
The United Nations has taken serious consideration for environmental protection due to rapid climate damage and change and suggested to build capabilities and mechanism for supporting the effective environmental engagement and management under greening perspective. The rapid climate change due to inclined business activities has taken the attention of researchers, authorities and practitioners, however the business operations have significant role in global economy, so the business operations must be conducted under the greening perspective that reduce the negative impact, reduce the cost of operations and increase the efficiency and performance (Gilal, Ashraf et al. 2019). The large-scale industrial areas cause environment damage due to their emission of toxic gasses and it has been highlighted that climate destruction has crucially increased and causing global warming, so therefore there is dire need to be take various initiatives to reduce the environmental damage.
Employee Green Behavior
The firms incorporate green practices to conducted business activities by implementing the green management policies and procedures to protect the environment for being responsive towards rapid climate change. The operational alteration to implement green practices one of the important factors is employees and their behavior towards environment protection. The greening approach can only be successful in implementation and generating required outcomes when employee’s behavior adopts the newly emerging environment friendly policies and procedures (Zakaria, N., Ishak, K., Arshad, D., Abdullah, N., & Ahmad, N. , 2018). The behavior of employee at workplace must be aligned with the policies for implementing and objectives to achieve environment sustainability (Robertson & Barling 2017). The research studies have suggested to focus on the factors that promote green behavior, as it is defined as the willingness to engage in pro-environmental activities by ensuring the recycling and sustainability of the resources (Ali, M., Anum, Z., Nasir, A., & Ahmad, N. ,2021). The behavior is required to be aligned with policies and procedures devised for environment protection and climate change, such behavior can brings large-scale benefits towards climate change and environment friendly scenario (Ahmad and Umrani 2019). The previous studies have integrated different stream of literature including organizational leadership and human resource management for developing and explaining the green behavior of employees under the green HRM practices that positively influence the environmental goals and objectives (Imran, M., Salisu, I., Aslam, H. D., Iqbal, J., & Hameed, I. ,2019). The previous literature also focused on the ethical leadership to be responsive towards environmental concerns that shows the responsibilities of the leaders and employees towards the adoption of environmental policies and procedures to conduct the business operations to protect environment for the society at large (Islam, Ahmad et al. 2020). The literature has expressed the association between ethical leadership, green human resource management, green behavior and environmental concerns. However, the previous literature overlooked the logical link between green human capital, green abilities and green knowledge sharing to explain the phenomenon of employee green behavior to be responsive towards environment protection. The current study fulfills the gap by explaining the relationship and influence or role of green human capital, green abilities and green knowledge sharing to explain the green employee behavior.
Green Human Capital
The green human capital is referred as the summation of employee knowledge, the abilities of the employees, experience of the employees, the creativity and commitment of employees towards adoption of environmental protection policies and procedures. The green innovative practices must be embedded in employees’ behavior that must be able to reflect the adoption of greening practices. The green human capital is considered as one of the important factors in organizational science that should be embedded in green HR practices and management to adopt the policies for environment protection (Yong, Yusliza et al. 2019). The research studies have been explained and highlighted that knowledge, skills and abilities of the employees contribute in the sustainability and plays vital role in the adoption of the green HR management, policies and procedures. On the other hand, the knowledge of employees, skills of individuals and abilities enhance the organizational commitment and enable firms to sustain their environmental concerns. The commitment of employees for adoption of green practices contributes in enhancing the organizational performance, success and environmental sustainability (Shoaib, Abbas et al. 2021). The previous literature has explained the impact of corporate social responsibility, green HR practices and environmental sustainability in diverse sectors including textile, health care and industrial sector (Zakaria, N., Ahmad, M. J., & Ahmad, N., 2020). The implementation of green practices has been observed to be implemented in these sectors largely that have been taken for the environment protection and sustainability. The literature has also explained the role of green HR management practices in environmental commitment, organizational citizenship behavior in hospitality sector. Moreover, the studies have been conducted for assessing the green HR practices and policies in automobile industry that influence the internal supply chain management with environmental concern while coordinating with consumers and suppliers (Yu, Chavez et al. 2020).
However, the previous studies have overlooked to explain and assess the role of green human capital in shaping the behavior of employees towards being green and to adopt green practices.
The literature has expressed to develop the green abilities of the employees through conducting the human resource practices including training and development also supported by the green recruitment and selection procedure. The greening aspect in recruitment and selection procedure ensure the hiring of employees having environmental concerns and initiation of green training and development that enhance the skills of employees towards adoption of green practices to conduct the business operations. The talent acquisition at the organizations focuses to hire the quality-oriented staff and it has been expressed as one of the major challenges for HR department and now considering greening aspect has become more crucial during HR functions. The literatures have depicted that employees of large-scale firms such as multinational firms’ employees have much higher tendency of adopting green practices because multinational firms embrace the green HR practices and policies as employer branding for efficient outcomes and to attract the environment friendly customers. The firms ensure to disseminate the information to the employees about environmental concerns and initiatives to be taken for environmental protection as it must be embedded with organizational objectives (Renwick, Redman et al. 2013). The green image of the firm emerged when selection procedures take place under greening umbrella that attract the potential workforce and customers. It has been reported that university graduates prefer to join the environmentally friendly firms that depict the pro-environmental image. The survey conducted in UK has shown that university graduates consider the green performance of the firm before acquiring the job that indicate the concern of general public towards the policies towards environment management as the key to hire the young workers (Muisyo and Qin 2021).
The previous research assessed the competitiveness of the firm through set of various practices involved in recruitment with greening aspect and adoption of unique process that are environmental accepted (Saeed, Afsar et al. 2019). The greening abilities can be created among employees by providing extensive training sessions on environmental concerns and practices (Yong, Yusliza et al. 2019). The literature has established the link between green training and development initiatives enhance the performance of the firms and previous scholars have suggested to adopt green policies and practices to conduct HR functions (Roscoe, Subramanian et al. 2019). The research scholars have also argued that green training and development increase the efficiency of the supply chain management for sustainable HR and management practices that further enable firms to reduce the cost of operations and contribute in building the reputation (Teixeira, Jabbour et al. 2016). The training conducted for greening perspective create the awareness related to ecological concerns and develop the green abilities that reduce the waste and pollution. The training given to employees for environmental issues enrich the skills and abilities to reduce the wastage material and eliminate the procedure that causes the raw material waste. The recent studies have focused to conduct the research on influence and role of environmental training to meet the organizational goals and objectives related to the environment protection (Stefanelli, Teixeira et al. 2019). It has been occurred in the literature that environmental training found to be effective in creating awareness for environmental matters, develop positive attitude towards environment, promote proactive approach for ecological activities and contribute in minimizing the waste and energy. It has been widely known and accepted in literature that training is necessary for green management and performance and contribute in successful implementation of greening policies that also build the suitable organizational culture (Muisyo and Qin 2021).
The current study argues that green training and development influence the green behavior, as previous studies have established that training is necessary for creating awareness and abilities, however, it has been overlooked that green abilities are crucial for green behavior.
Green knowledge sharing as moderator
The role of knowledge sharing has been observed in prior literature that knowledge management at workplace has significant impact. The role of knowledge management that influence the employees’ behavior is rarely studies phenomenon (Bhatti, Zakariya et al. 2020). The literature shows that knowledge management has positive influence on performance related outcomes that also improve the customer relationship, it contributes in service quality and innovation. The knowledge sharing is considered as an important element of the knowledge management in the organizational workplace among individuals (Vrontis and Christofi 2019). The research studies have expressed that knowledge sharing is significant predictor of the performance and it is positively related to the individual and team performance. The knowledge sharing found to be significant to influence the performance as depicted in the study of (Liao, Chen et al. 2018). The knowledge sharing involves the exchange of information among participants of the firms for achievement of the goals, the firms ensure the knowledge sharing activities that perform collaborative direction for organizational green image (Rubel, Kee et al. 2021). The previous research has explained the role of green knowledge sharing to predict in-role green service behavior and extra role green service behavior, the study reported significant result of the relationship. Previous study also explained the mediation role of green knowledge sharing behavior between green HRM and in-role service behavior and extra-role service behavior, the results reported significant findings that green knowledge sharing mediates the relationship significantly. The current study argues that moderation effect of green knowledge sharing will strengthen the relationship between green abilities and employee green behavior, the moderation effect of green knowledge sharing believed to be significant between green human capital and employee green behavior.
The study is a conceptual investigation with two independent constructs, green abilities and green human capital with the moderation of green knowledge share which enthral with employee green behaviour.
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework
The current research paper is an attempt to explain the logical and conceptual relationship and phenomenon of green employee behavior with potential predictors. The study incorporated the green human capital to explain the green employee behavior that means if the employees are hired with the intention of environmental protection perspective and HR functions are conducted under greening umbrella then it is more likely that employees’ behavior will be green and exponentially inclined towards environment protection. The green abilities of employees believed to be playing vital role in adopting green practices and procedures and depicting green behavior. The study explained that green abilities can be created through green training and development approach that enhance the behavioral outcomes to adopt the green practices to conduct the business operations. Moreover, the study contributed to the body of knowledge by expressing the moderation role of green knowledge sharing between predictors and dependent variable of the current research. The green knowledge sharing argued to be strengthened the relationship between green abilities and employee green behavior further, the moderation role of green knowledge sharing argues to strengthen the relationship between green human capital green employee behaviors.
IMPLICATION OF THE STUDY
This study contributes to the existing body employee behavior literature by being one of the first to investigate these relationships. The study established that employee’s right behavior has a positive relationship with green abilities and green human capital. This suggests that as employee become aware of their rights, they are likely to have a positive attitude towards the organizational goal. This implies that increased in knowledge sharing is beneficial to the organization as it fosters favorable consumer attitudes. Given the limited literature evidence on the relationships, this finding provides a significant contribution to the existing body of employees’ green behavior literature.
LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE RECOMMENDATION
This research has certain limitations which can suggest potential fruitful avenues for future research. The study may have a limited generalisability since it’s conceptually drawn from a limited number of literatures. In future, the researcher can enhance the scope of the study by investigating it empirically.
The current research paper is an attempt to explain the logical and conceptual relationship and phenomenon of green employee behavior with potential predictors. The study incorporated the green human capital to explain the green employee behavior that means if the employees are hired with the intention of environmental protection perspective and HR functions are conducted under greening umbrella then it is more likely that employees’ behavior will be green and exponentially inclined towards environment protection. The green abilities of employees believed to be playing vital role in adopting green practices and procedures and depicting green behavior. The study explained that green abilities can be created through green training and development approach that enhance the behavioral outcomes to adopt the green practices to conduct the business operations. Moreover, the study contributed to the body of knowledge by expressing the moderation role of green knowledge sharing between predictors and dependent variable of the current research. The green knowledge sharing argued to be strengthened the relationship between green abilities and employee green behavior further, the moderation role of green knowledge sharing argues to strengthen the relationship between green human capital green employee behavior.
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