Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 45–69 | Cite as

The Influence of Environmental Knowledge and Values on Managerial Behaviours on Behalf of the Environment: An Empirical Examination of Managers in China

  • Gerald E. Fryxell
  • Carlos W. H. Lo


This study explores linkages between what Chinese managers generally know about environmental issues, how strongly they value environmental protection, and different types of behaviours/actions they may take within their organizations on behalf of the environment. From a sample of 305 managers in Guangzhou and Beijing, it was found that both environmental knowledge and values are more predictive of more personal managerial behaviours, such as keeping informed of relevant company issues and working within the system to minimize environmental impacts, than more overt behaviours. Moreover, for these more personal actions, environmental knowledge and values were found to have both main and interactive effects. By comparison, it was found that both environmental values and knowledge had additive effects on managerial tendencies to initiate new programs within their domain of responsibility. Only environmental values was found to have a modest influence environmental advocacy.


Economic Growth Interactive Effect Environmental Impact Environmental Protection Environmental Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aiken, L. S. and S. G. West: 1991, Multiple Regression: Testing and Interpreting Interactions (Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA).Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, L. M. and T. S. Bateman: 2000, 'Individual Environmental Initiative: Championing Natural Environmental Issues in U.S. Business Organizations', Academy of Management Journal 43(4), 548–570.Google Scholar
  3. Arbuckle, J. L. and W. Wothke: 2001, Amos User's Guide (V. 4.0) (Smallwaters, Chicago).Google Scholar
  4. Ashford, N. A.: 1993, 'Understanding Technological Responses of Industrial Firms to Environmental Problems: Implication for Government Policy', in J. Schot and K. Fischer (eds.), Environmental Strategies for Industry: International Perspectives on Research Needs and Policy Implications (Island Press, Washington, DC), pp. 277–310.Google Scholar
  5. Banister, J.: 1998, 'Population, Public Health and the Environment in China', The China Quarterly 156, 986–1015.Google Scholar
  6. Benton, R.: 1994, 'Environmental Knowledge and Attitudes of Undergraduate Business Students Compared to Non–business Students', Business and Society 33(2), 191–205.Google Scholar
  7. Catton, W. R., Jr. and R. E. Dunlap: 1980, 'A New Ecological Paradigm for Post–exuberant Sociology', American Behavioural Scientist 24, 15–47.Google Scholar
  8. Chan, H. S., K. K. Wong, K. C. Cheung and J. M. K. Lo: 1995, 'The Implementation Gap in Environmental Management in China: The Case of Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Nanjing', Public Administration Review 55(4), 333–340.Google Scholar
  9. Chen Jianfu: 2002, 'Implementation of Law in China–An Introduction', in Juanfu Chen, Yuwen Li and J. M. Otto (eds.), Implementation of Law in the People's Republic of China (Kluwer Law International, The Hague), pp. 1–22.Google Scholar
  10. Cheng, J. Y. S. (ed.): 1998, The Guangdong Development Model and its Challenge (City University Press, Hong Kong).Google Scholar
  11. Cheng, J. Y. S. (ed.): 2000, Guangdong in the Twenty–first Century: Stagnation or Second Take–off? (City University Press, Hong Kong).Google Scholar
  12. Cheng, J. Y. S. and S. McPherson (eds.): 1994, Development in Southern China: A Report in the Pearl River Delta Region (Longman, Hong Kong).Google Scholar
  13. China Environment News: 1998, 'The Survey of Environmental Consciousness of Secondary and Primary Students in China', in Xi Xiaolin and Xu Qinghua (eds.), Investigation of Public Environmental Consciousness in China (China Environmental Science Press, Beijing), pp. 224–240 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  14. China Environment Yearbook, 1990–2001 (China Environment Year Book Press, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  15. China Environment Year Book Editorial Committee: 2000, China Environment Year Book 2000 (China Environment Year Book House, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  16. China Environment Year Book Editorial Committee: 2001, China Environment Year Book 2001 (China Environment Year Book House, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  17. China Quarterly 1998. Special issue: China's environment. December.Google Scholar
  18. Chinander, K. R.: 2001, 'Aligning Accountability and Awareness for Environmental Performance in Operations', Production and Operations Management 10(3), 276–291.Google Scholar
  19. Des Jardins, J. R.: 1997, Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy, 2nd ed. (Wadsworth, Belmont, CA).Google Scholar
  20. Devall, W. and G. Sessions: 1985, Deep Ecology: Living As If Nature Mattered (Gibbs M. Smith, Salt Lake City).Google Scholar
  21. De Young, R.: 2000, 'Expanding and Evaluating Motives for Environmentally Responsible Behavior', Journal of Social Issues 56(3), 509–526.Google Scholar
  22. Di Norcia, V.: 1996, 'Environmental and Social Performance', Journal of Business Ethics (July), 773–789.Google Scholar
  23. Dunlap, R. E. and K. D. Van Liere: 1978, 'The “New Environmental Paradigm”: A Proposed Measuring Instrument and Preliminary Results', Journal of Environmental Education 9 (summer), 10–19.Google Scholar
  24. Edmonds, R. L.: 1994, Patterns of China's Lost Harmony (Routledge, London).Google Scholar
  25. Elkington, J.: 1998, Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business (New Society, Gabriola Island, Canada).Google Scholar
  26. Ellen, S.: 1994, 'Do We Know What We Need to Know? Objective and Subjective Knowledge Effects on Pro–ecological Behaviours', Journal of Business Research 30, 43–52.Google Scholar
  27. Egri, C. P. and L. T. Pinfield: 1996, 'Organization and the Biosphere: Ecologies and Environments', in S. Clegg, C. Hardy and W. Nord (eds.), Handbook of Organization Studies (Sage, London), pp. 459–483.Google Scholar
  28. Egri, C. P. and S. Herman: 2000, 'Leadership in the North American Environmental Sector: Values, Leadership Styles, and Context of Environmental Leaders and their Organizations', Academy of Management Journal 43(4), 571–604.Google Scholar
  29. Fryxell, G. E. and C. W. H. Lo: 2001, 'Organizational Membership and Environmental Ethics: A Comparison of Managers in State–owned Firms, Collectives, Private Firms and Joint Ventures in the PRC', World Development 29(11), 1941–1956.Google Scholar
  30. Fryxell, G. E and A. Szeto: 2002, 'The Influence of Motivations for Seeking ISO Certification on EMS Effectiveness: An Empirical Study of Certified Facilities in Hong Kong', Journal of Environmental Management 65(3), 223–238.Google Scholar
  31. Gladwin, T. N., J. J. Kennelly and T. Krause: 1995, 'Shifting Paradigms for Sustainable Development: Implications for Management Theory and Research', Academy of Management Review 20, 874–907.Google Scholar
  32. Golley, F. B.: 1998, A Primer for Environmental Literacy (Yale University, New Haven, CO).Google Scholar
  33. Guthrie, D.: 1999, Dragon in a Three–piece Suit: The Emergence of Capitalism in China (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ).Google Scholar
  34. Hart, S.: 1997, 'Beyond Greening: Strategies for a Sustainable World', Harvard Business Review 75(1), 66–76.Google Scholar
  35. Hosmer, L. T.: 1987, The Ethics of Management (Irwin, Homewood, IL).Google Scholar
  36. Ikels, C.: 1996, The Return of the God of Wealth: The Transition to a Market Economy in Urban China (Standford University Press, Standford, California).Google Scholar
  37. Kaplan, S.: 2000, 'Human Nature and Environmentally Responsible Behavior', Journal of Social Issues 56(3), 491–508.Google Scholar
  38. Killbourne, W. E., S. C. Beckman, A. Lewis and Y. Van Dam: 2001, 'A Multinational Examination of the Role of the Dominant Social Paradigm in Environmental Attitudes of University Students', Environment and Behavior 33(2), 209–228.Google Scholar
  39. Li, H.: 2002, 'Discussion of Desertification Problems and Countermeasures in China', Environmental Protection 2, 23–36 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  40. Lieberthal, K.: 1995, Governing China: From Revolution through Reform (W.W. Norton, London).Google Scholar
  41. Liu, Hongzhi: 2002, 'Analysis and Suggestion on National Water Pollution Control in the New Period', Environmental Protection 2, 9–12 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  42. Liu, Y. Q.: 1997, 'Entrepreneurs' Environmental Consciousness and Self–disciplined Behaviours', Environmental Management in China 2, 16–18 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  43. Lo, C. W. H.: 1995, 'Environmental Protection in Hong Kong Amidst Transition: Is Hong Kong Ready to Manage its Environment by Law?', Environmental Management 19(3), 331–344.Google Scholar
  44. Lo, C. W. H. and S. S. Chung: 2003, 'China's Green Challenges in the 21st Century', in J. Y. S. Cheng (ed.), China's Challenges in the Twenty–first Century (City University Press, Hong Kong), pp. 719–769.Google Scholar
  45. Lo, C. W. H. and S. W. Leung: 1998, 'Environmental Protection and Popular Environmental Consciousness in China', in J. Y. S. Cheng (ed.), China Review 1998 (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong), pp. 501–541.Google Scholar
  46. Lo, C. W. H. and S. W. Leung: 2000, 'Environmental Agency and Public Opinion in Guangzhou: The Limits of a Popular Approach to Environmental Governance', The China Quarterly 163, 677–704.Google Scholar
  47. Lotcpeich, R. and A. Chen: 1997, 'Environmental Protection in the People's Republic of China', Journal of Contemporary China 6(14), 33–59.Google Scholar
  48. Ma, X. Y. and L. Ortolano: 2000, Environmental Regulation in China: Institutions, Enforcement, and Compliance (Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., NY).Google Scholar
  49. Maloney, M. P., M. P. Ward and G. N. Braucht: 1975, 'Psychology in Action: A Revised Scale for the Measurement of Ecological Attitudes and Knowledge', American Psychologist 30, 787–790.Google Scholar
  50. McElroy, M. B.: 1998, 'Industrial Growth, Air Pollution, Environmental Damage: Complex Challenges for China', in M. B. McElroy, C. P. Nielsen and P. Lydon (eds.), Energizing China: Reconciling Environmental Protection and Economic Growth (Harvard University Committee on Environment, MA), pp. 241–265.Google Scholar
  51. McElroy, M. B., C. P. Nielsen and P. Lydon (eds.): 1998, Energizing China: Reconciling Environmental Protection and Economic Growth (Harvard University Committee on Environment, MA).Google Scholar
  52. McLaughlin, A.: 1993, Regarding Nature (State University of New York Press, Albany).Google Scholar
  53. Morris, L. A., M. Hastak and M. B. Mazis: 1995, 'Consumer Comprehension of Environmental Advertising and Labelling Claims', The Journal of Consumer Affairs 29(2), 328–350.Google Scholar
  54. Newman, J. C. and K. M. Breeden: 1992, 'Managing in the Environmental Era: Lessons from Environmental Leaders', Columbia Journal of World Business 27(3 & 4), 210–221.Google Scholar
  55. Niu, Wenyuan: 2003, 'The Construction of Ecological Environment Capacity in China is Both a Difficult Task and a Long Process', Ecological Environment and Protection 1, 10–13 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  56. Ng, T. L. (ed.): 1991, New Environmental Paradigm Survey 1991 (Hong Kong Environment Centre, Hong Kong).Google Scholar
  57. Nunnally, J. C.: 1978, Psychometric Theory, 2nd ed. (McGraw–Hill, New York).Google Scholar
  58. Oi, J.: 1999, Rural China Takes Off: Institutional Foundations of Economic Reform (University of California Press, Berkeley).Google Scholar
  59. Panayotou, T.: 1997, 'The Effectiveness and Efficiency of Environmental Policy in China', in M. B. McElroy, C. P. Nielsen and P. Lydon (eds.), Energizing China: Reconciling Environmental Protection and Economic Growth (Harvard University Committee on Environment, MA), pp. 431–472.Google Scholar
  60. Pearson, M.: 1997, China's New Business Elite (University of California Press, Berkeley).Google Scholar
  61. People's Daily: 2001, The Condition of Dessertification in China is Very Critical, September 21, 2 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  62. Perry, W. G.: 1970, Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York).Google Scholar
  63. Ralston, D. A., D. J. Gustafson, F. Cheung and R. H. Terpstra: 1992, 'Eastern Values: A Comparison of U.S., Hong Kong and PRC Managers', Journal of Applied Psychology 77, 664–671.Google Scholar
  64. Rock, N. T.: 2002, 'Pathways to Industrial Environmental Improvement in the East Asian Newly Industrializing Economies', Business Strategy and the Environment 11, 90–102.Google Scholar
  65. Ross, L.: 1988, Environmental Policy in China (Indiana University Press, Bloomington).Google Scholar
  66. Schmidheiny, S.: 1992, Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA).Google Scholar
  67. Shrivastava, P.: 1995, 'Ecocentric Management for a Risk Society', Academy of Management Review 20, 118–137.Google Scholar
  68. Sinkule, B. J. and L. Ortolano: 1995, Implementing Environmental Policy in China (Praeger Publishers, Westport, Connecticut).Google Scholar
  69. Sit, V. F. S.: 1995, Beijing: The Nature and Planning of a Chinese Capital City (John Wiley & Sons, New York).Google Scholar
  70. Smil, V.: 1993, China's Environmental Crisis: An Inquiry into the Limits of National Development (M.E. Sharpe, Armonk).Google Scholar
  71. Smil, V.: 1998, 'China's Energy and Resource Uses: Continuity and Change', The China Quarterly 156, 935–951.Google Scholar
  72. South China Morning Post: 1999, 'Pollution “Makes Beijing Men Infertile” ', June 10, 3.Google Scholar
  73. South China Morning Post: 2000, 'Pollution Adds to Men's Growing Sexual Problems', Oct. 29, 5.Google Scholar
  74. South China Morning Post: 2000, Post Magazine, January 28.Google Scholar
  75. State Environmental Protection Administration (ed.): 1998, The Practice and Exploration of Environmental Education in China's Tertiary Institutions (China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  76. State Environmental Protection Administration: 2001, '2000 Report on the State of Environment in China', Environmental Protection 7, 2–8 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  77. Stavins, R. N.: 2000, 'Market–based Environmental Policies', in P. R. Portney and R. N. Stavins (eds.), Public Policies for Environmental Protection, 2nd edition (Resources for the Future, Washington, DC), pp. 31–76.Google Scholar
  78. Stern, P. C.: 2000, 'Toward a Coherent Theory of Environmentally Significant Behavior', Journal of Social Issues 56(3), 407–424.Google Scholar
  79. United Nations Environment Programme: 2001, Buried Treasure: Uncovering the Business Case for Corporate Sustainability (SustainAbility, London).Google Scholar
  80. van Rooij, B.: 2002, 'Implementing Chinese Environmental Law through Enforcement'¯ in Juanfu Chen, Yuwen Li and J. M. Otto (eds.), Implementation of Law in the People's Republic of China(Kluwer Law International, The Hague), pp. 149–178.Google Scholar
  81. Vermeer, E. B.: 1998, 'Industrial Pollution in China and Remedial Policies', The China Quarterly 156, 952–985.Google Scholar
  82. Vogel, E. F.: 1989, One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA).Google Scholar
  83. Walley, N. and B. Whitehead: 1994, 'It's Not Easy Being Green', Harvard Business Review (May–June), 46–52.Google Scholar
  84. Wang, J. and X. Lu: 1997, 'Economic Policies for Environmental Protection in China: Practice and perspectives', in OECD (ed.), Applying Market–based Instruments to Environmental Policies in China and OECD Countries (OECD), pp. 15–30.Google Scholar
  85. Wang, Y.: 2001, 'City Environmental and Sustainable Development', Environmental Protection 6, 3–.Google Scholar
  86. World Resources Institute: 1998, World Resources Report: Environmental Change and Human Health (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  87. World Resources Institute: 2002, Beyond Grey Pinstripes: Preparing MBAs for Social and Environmental Stewardship (World Resources Institute, Washington, DC).Google Scholar
  88. Xi, X. and Q. Xu (eds.): 1998, Investigation of Public Environmental Consciousness in China (China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  89. Xu, X.: 1998, 'Air Pollution and its Health Effects in Urban China', in M. B. McElroy, C. P. Nielsen,and P. Lydon (eds.), Energizing China: Reconciling Environmental on Environment.Google Scholar
  90. Yeung, Y. M.: 1998, Guangdong: Survey of a Province Undergoing Rapid Change (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong).Google Scholar
  91. Yu, W. and X. B. Dong: 1997, 'Examining Environmental Management on the Basis of Enterprise's Environmental Consciousness and Behaviours', Environmental Protection 2, 28–29 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  92. Zelezny, L. C., P. Chua and C. Aldrich: 2000, 'Elaborating on Gender Differences in Environmentalism', Journal of Social Issues 56(3), 443–457.Google Scholar
  93. Zheng, Y. S. and S. W. Wang: 2001, China Environment and Development Review, Vol. 1 (Social Sciences Documentation Publishing House, Beijing (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  94. Zhou Y.: 1997, Population and Resources, Sustainable Development in Environment and Agriculture in China in the Twenty–first Century (Shanxi jingji chubanshe, Taiyuan (in Chinese)).Google Scholar
  95. Zweig, D.: 1997, Freeing China's Farmers: Rural Restructuring in the Reform Era (M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald E. Fryxell
    • 1
  • Carlos W. H. Lo
    • 2
  1. 1.China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)Pudong, ShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of ManagementThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong (SAR)

Personalised recommendations