Environmental Management

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 777–790

Enterprise-Level Motivations, Regulatory Pressures, and Corporate Environmental Management in Guangzhou, China

  • Shui-Yan Tang
  • Pansy Honying Li
  • Gerald E. Fryxell
  • Carlos Wing-Hung Lo
Article
  • 329 Downloads

Abstract

This study examines the effects of internal motivations and external pressures on the integration of environmental management (EM) practices within manufacturing operations in China. The moderating role of perceptions toward the regulatory process is also considered along with comparisons between wholly Chinese-owned and foreign-owned enterprises. From a sample of 131 manufacturing companies in the Guangzhou area, it was found that the salience of fees and fines has a strong positive influence on perceptions toward the regulator (the local Environmental Protection Bureau, EPB). This also has a positive effect on perceptions toward regulations themselves for foreign-owned enterprises. Business-case motivations for EM positively shape enterprise perceptions toward regulations, whereas risk-reduction motivations have a negative effect on perceptions toward regulations in foreign-owned enterprises. Enterprise perceptions toward the regulatory process have direct effects on the integration of EM practices in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises, but in opposite directions. While positive perceptions toward regulations have positive influence, positive perceptions toward regulators (i.e., the EPB) negatively affect it. Overall, these results indicated that promoting the adoption of EM practices depends on convincing business leaders that EM practices contribute to profit making. The regulatory process can potentially promote these practices, but measures need to be taken to ensure that the regulator is not co-opted by the regulated, especially in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises.

Keywords

China Corporate environmental management Regulatory pressure Foreign-owned enterprises Chinese-owned enterprises 

References

  1. Beyer S (2006) Environmental law and policy in the People’s Republic of China. Chin J Int Law 5:185–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boiral O, Henri JF, Talbot D (2012) Modeling the impacts of corporate commitment on climate change. Bus Strategy Environ 21:495–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burby R, Paterson RG (1993) Improving compliance with state environmental regulations. J Policy Anal Manag 12(4):753–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan CHJ, Welford R (2005) Assessing corporate environmental risk in China: an evaluation of reporting activities of Hong Kong listed companies. Corp Soc Responsib Environ Manag 12(2):88–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Corneliussen F (2005) The impact of regulations on firms: a case study of the biotech industry. Law Policy 27(3):429–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gray WB, Shadbegian RJ (2004) ‘Optimal’ pollution abatement—whose benefits matter, and how much? J Environ Econ Manag 47:510–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gunningham NA, Kagan RA (2005) Regulation and business behavior. Law Policy 27:213–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gunningham NA, Thornton D, Kagan KA (2005) Motivating management: corporate compliance in environmental protection. Law Policy 27:289–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Helland E (1998) The enforcement of pollution control laws: inspections, violations, and self-reporting. Rev Econ Stat 80:141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hunt B (2003) The timid corporation: why business is terrified of taking risks. John Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  11. Kuperan K, Sutinen JG (1998) Blue water crime: deterrence, legitimacy, and compliance in fisheries. Law Soc Rev 32:309–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lai KH, Wong CW (2012) Green logistics management and performance: some empirical evidence from Chinese manufacturing exporters. Omega 40(3):267–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li JJ, Poppo L, Zhou KZ (2008) Do managerial ties in China always produce value? Competition, uncertainty, and domestic vs. foreign firms. Strateg Manag J 29:383–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liu X, Liu B, Shishime T, Yu Q, Bi J, Fujitsuka T (2010) An empirical study on the driving mechanism of proactive corporate environmental management in China. J Environ Manag 91(8):1707–1717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lo CWH, Fryxell GE (2005) Governmental and societal support for environmental enforcement in China: an empirical study in Guangzhou. J Dev Stud 41:558–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lo CWH, Tang SY (2006) Institutional reform, economic changes and local environmental management. Environ Polit 15(2):190–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lo CWH, Tang SY (2014) Institutions, regulatory styles. Society and Environmental Governance in China, RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Lo CWH, Fryxell GE, Tang SY (2010) Stakeholder pressures from perceived environmental impacts and the effect on corporate environmental management programmes in China. Environ Polit 19:888–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ma XY, Ortolano L (2000) Environmental regulation in China: institutions, enforcement, and compliance. Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  20. May PJ (2005) Regulation and compliance motivation: examining different approaches. Public Adm Rev 65:31–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Moon S, deLeon P (2007) Contexts and corporate voluntary environmental behaviors: examining the EPA’s green lights voluntary program. Organ Environ 20:480–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morrow D, Rondinelli D (2002) Adopting corporate environmental management systems: motivations and results of ISO 14001 and EMAS certification. Eur Manag J 20:159–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Murphy K, Tyler TR, Curtis A (2009) Nurturing regulatory compliance: is procedural justice effective when people question the legitimacy of the law? Regul Gov 3:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sharma S (2000) Managerial interpretations and organizational context as predictors of corporate choice of environmental strategy. Acad Manag J 43:681–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stalley P, Yang DL (2006) An emerging environmental movement in China? China Q 186:333–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Thornton D, Gunningham NA, Kagan RA (2005) General deterrence and corporate environmental behavior. Law Policy 27:262–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tilt B (2007) The political ecology of pollution enforcement in China: a case from Sichuan’s rural industrial sector. China Q 192:915–932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. van Rooij B (2006) Regulating land and pollution in China: lawmaking, compliance, and enforcement; theory and cases. Leiden University Press, LeidenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vogel D (2005) The market for virtue. Brookings Institution, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. Walker K, Ni N, Huo W (2014) Is the red dragon green? An examination of the antecedents and consequences of environmental proactivity in China. J Bus Ethics 125:27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang H, Maningi N, Laplante B, Dasgupta S (2003) Incomplete enforcement of pollution regulation: bargaining power of Chinese factories. Environ Resour Econ 24(3):245–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Winter SC, May PJ (2001) Motivation for compliance with environmental regulations. J Policy Anal Manag 20:675–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yee WH, Lo CWH, Tang SY (2013) Assessing ecological modernization in China: stakeholder demands and corporate environmental management practices. China Q 213:101–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yee WH, Tang SY, Lo CWH (2014) Regulatory compliance when the rule of law is weak: evidence from China’s environmental reform. J Public Adm Res Theor. doi:10.1093/jopart/muu025 Google Scholar
  35. Zhan X, Lo CWH, Tang SY (2014) Contextual changes and environmental policy implementation: a longitudinal study of street-level bureaucrats in Guangzhou, China. J Public Adm Res Theor 24(4):1005–1035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhang B, Bi J, Yuan Z, Ge J, Liu B, Bu M (2008) Why do firms engage in environmental management? An empirical study in China. J Clean Prod 16:1036–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhu QH, Sarkis J, Lai KH (2007) Green supply chain management: pressures, practices and performance within the Chinese auto mobile industry. J Clean Prod 15:1041–1052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zyglidopoulos SC (2002) The social and environmental responsibilities of multinationals: evidence from the Brent Spar case. J Bus Ethics 26(1/2):141–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shui-Yan Tang
    • 1
  • Pansy Honying Li
    • 2
  • Gerald E. Fryxell
    • 3
  • Carlos Wing-Hung Lo
    • 2
  1. 1.Sol Price School of Public PolicyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management and MarketingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  3. 3.China Europe International Business SchoolShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations