How an Organization's Environmental Orientation Impacts Environmental Performance and its Resultant Financial Performance through Green Computing Hiring Practices: An Empirical Investigation of the Natural Resource-Based View of the Firm
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation uses the logic embodied in Strategic Fit Theory, the Natural Resource-Based View of the Firm (NRBV), strategic human resource management, and other relevant literature streams to empirically demonstrate how the environmental orientation of a firm's strategy impacts their environmental performance and resultant financial performance through the firm's Information Technology hiring practices. Specifically, it was hypothesized that firms with a strong relationship between the environmental orientation of their strategy and their green computing hiring practices will achieve higher environmental performance, and, as a result, higher levels of financial performance than firms lacking such fit. The organization's environmental orientation was measured via content analysis of the annual report texts (ARTs). Environmental performance was measured using KLD's award-winning environmental performance metrics. I triangulated across efficiency, effectiveness, and market-based metrics to capture a more holistic measure of the firm's financial performance using data from Compustat/Research Insight. The firm's green computing hiring practices were measured utilizing a web content data mining application that pulled job ads for computing graduates and then extracted the environmentally-oriented skills identified in such ads using content analytic techniques. Various control variables were employed to eliminate possible alternative explanations of my research findings. A number of statistical and analytical techniques were used to assess the nature and strength of the relationships in my theoretical model as are articulated in the proposed hypotheses. The sample size of firms is fairly large, thus increasing the statistical power of the empirical tests. Previous empirical testing of the relationship between environmental strategy and financial performance is still in the developmental stages and has produced mixed results, partly because important intervening mechanisms, such as green computing hiring practices, has not received adequate attention in the empirical literature. The combination of using a large sample of real world firms, a powerful combination of qualitative and quantitative methodological techniques to tap into key trace evidence not available through other methodological techniques, and leveraging an award-winning environmental data set has enhanced the robustness of the empirical findings in addressing this important gap in the literature. The results of the analyses show that there is a strong relationship between an organization's environmental posturing and its environmental performance. Additionally, this effect is mediated by the organization's environmental hiring practices, indicating that implementing the organization's environmental strategy through its hiring practices is important in achieving improved environmental performance. The current research also shows that there is a strong and positive relationship between an organization's environmental performance and financial performance. Surprisingly, these relationships are not significantly impacted by the organization's industry affiliation, which broadens the generalizability of the results of this study.
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