Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Business Administration

Advisor's Name

William Newburry

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Walfried Lassar

Advisor's Name

Ted London

Advisor's Name

William Schneper

Advisor's Name

Nathan Hiller

Keywords

CONTROL, MNC, ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE, CHALLENGES, SUBSIDIARY, NETWORK

Date of Defense

7-12-2012

Abstract

The trend of green consumerism and increased standardization of environmental regulations has driven multinational corporations (MNCs) to seek standardization of environmental practices or at least seek to be associated with such behavior. In fact, many firms are seeking to free ride on this global green movement, without having the actual ecological footprint to substantiate their environmental claims. While scholars have articulated the benefits from such optimization of uniform global green operations, the challenges for MNCs to control and implement such operations are understudied. For firms to translate environmental commitment to actual performance, the obstacles are substantial, particularly for the MNC. This is attributed to headquarters’ (HQ) control challenges (1) in managing core elements of the corporate environmental management (CEM) process and specifically matching verbal commitment and policy with ecological performance and by (2) the fact that the MNC operates in multiple markets and the HQ is required to implement policy across complex subsidiary networks consisting of diverse and distant units. Drawing from the literature on HQ challenges of MNC management and control, this study examines (1) how core components of the CEM process impact optimization of global environmental performance (GEP) and then uses network theory to examine how (2) a subsidiary network’s dimensions can present challenges to the implementation of green management policies. It presents a framework for CEM which includes (1) MNCs’ Verbal environmental commitment, (2) green policy Management which guides standards for operations, (3) actual environmental Performance reflected in a firm’s ecological footprint and (4) corporate environmental Reputation (VMPR). Then it explains how an MNC’s key subsidiary network dimensions (density, diversity, and dispersion) create challenges that hinder the relationship between green policy management and actual environmental performance. It combines content analysis, multiple regression, and post-hoc hierarchal cluster analysis to study US manufacturing MNCs. The findings support a positive significant effect of verbal environmental commitment and green policy management on actual global environmental performance and environmental reputation, as well as a direct impact of verbal environmental commitment on green policy management. Unexpectedly, network dimensions were not found to moderate the relationship between green management policy and GEP.

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