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Green Human Resource Management

Green Human Resource Management (GHRM) is a new field related to human capital that prioritizes the employees’ attitude development on the environmentally conscious organization.

  • construction firms
  • sustainability
  • green human resource management
  • corporate social responsibility

1. Introduction

Intervening new innovative ideas in business through adopting and implementing socially responsible activities and green practices in the organization is an ongoing concept over a few decades [1]. Corporates’ social responsibility and concern for the environmental aspect are directly proportional to the wellbeing of the employees [2]. According to Jackson et al. (2011), organizations, like other populations, are obligated to serve the society they operate their business in and shall reserve their knowledge base [3]. The most widely accepted definition of sustainability is “development that meets current needs without compromising future generations’ needs” [4]. Past research has examined green and social responsibility concepts in different industries including the manufacturing sector [5][6], hospitality and tourism [1][2][7], and healthcare [7]. Moreover, construction companies [8], being a key contributor to development, have also been of interest to researchers with the inclusion of green concepts and social responsibility. The social economy concept has been explained in prior research to emphasize the importance of social responsibility inclusion to achieve sustainability objectives of the organization [9].
Environmental protection is a significant problem for today’s businesses, which must strike a balance between economic growth and environmentally responsible operations. GHRM is a new field related to human capital that prioritizes the employees’ attitude development on the environmentally conscious organization [10]. Moreover, another study explained the green credentials for different types of sustainable human resources [11], social responsibility, triple bottom line, common good, and green human resource management. Among them, green human resource management is considered an environmental dimension. Green human resource management (GHRM) is a set of activities associated with the initiation, implementation, and continuous maintenance to sustain the green concept among employees within the organization [6]. Employees must be motivated, empowered, and ecologically conscious when it comes to green projects, and such awareness is critical when it comes to developing ecologically creative solutions [12]. Moreover, GHRM is a human resource approach that supports environmentally conscious business and management. It increases employees’ environmental knowledge, which translates into the long-term viability of practices across firms [13].
Meanwhile, when an organization internalizes values that align with societal aspirations, it exhibits respect for its workers, the environment, the law, and the society in which it operates [14]. Further, the concept of greater emphasis on social responsibilities is not confined to developed nations. As a result of globalization, many firms in the developing countries are incorporating CSR principles into their operations [15]. A firm’s commitment to seek long-term goals [16] that are good for society, beyond what is required by law [17] and economics [18], is known as corporate social responsibility. The consistency of a human system based on a set of ethical values, such as justice, dignity, and loyalty, is referred to as social sustainability [2]. That is why corporate social responsibility has been added in this study to investigate its impact upon sustainable performance. Green activities from an environmental perspective and CSR covering the social perspective help the firms to attain competitive advantage and achieve sustainable performance. Sustainability is not just in numerical terms and monetary form but takes an interest in the climate and general wellbeing of staff, society, customers, and other stakeholders.
We developed a moderated mediation model integrating social and behavioral perspectives at the micro-level. To our knowledge, only a few studies have looked at how GHRM, affective commitment (AC), perceived organizational support (POS), and social responsibility may be used to measure long-term success in the construction industry. Prior researchers introduced social responsibility human resources [19][20] regarding the inclusion of internal stakeholders of the organization. At the same time, one researcher explained that the three figures of social responsibility, human resource, and sustainability have grown and interacted through time, tied together by a succession of connecting components such as stakeholders or green management. This relationship has produced a political quandary within companies when it comes to defining competencies and functions across CSR, HRM, and long-term management, where a power balance has been established [21]. A review paper published in Web of Science concluded the high essence of study, including CSR and GHRM issues, towards sustainable business performance [22].

2. Theories that Support GHRM and Corporate Social Responsibility

2.1. Stakeholder Theory

Stakeholder theory focuses on an organization’s morality and its values [23]. The principle states that an organization has several stakeholders, each of which is involved in and influenced by the organization’s performance. Since stakeholders’ interests are always self-centered, they can have divergent or even conflicting interests [24]. The environment is the most important concern for stakeholders [13][24], as the ‘balanced scorecard’ necessitates a multi-dimensional research framework for human resource management, with different teams rating several organizational sustainability metrics. Employee motivation, green practices, and CSR activities will boost employee involvement and work efficiency [25].
Freeman (1984) says the stakeholder approach suggests that stakeholders are a group or policies that directly or indirectly influence the organization’s activities and decision-making. Prior scholars [23] investigated various stakeholder perspectives to assess how they influence the financial outcome of the organization. The internal and external stakeholders influence the individual performance of the organization when affective commitment and job satisfaction indirectly affect CSR and employee performance [21]. A research scholar established critical elements in construction firms of CSR to disclose particular contents included in the performance issue based on stakeholder theory [26]. The scholar further elaborated that construction companies value CSR as one of the major factors contributing to sustainable business development. Construction companies in the UK have their level of understanding regarding CSR and their recognition of CSR that may be challenging for them to persuade a range of stakeholders that their CSR obligations are real and independently verifiable [27].

2.2. AMO Theory

The organization’s sustainability is achieved through green human resource practices accumulating social and environmental needs [28]. Jabbour et al. (2011) defined GHRM as a deliberate integration of traditional human resource management techniques with an organization’s environmental objectives [29]. A quantitative research survey in manufacturing organizations examined the relevance of the supply chain and GHRM through ability motivation and opportunity to enhance financial performance [30]. The ability, motivation, opportunity (AMO) theory guides the employees in acknowledging their abilities and motivates them on the environmental activities and provides opportunities to improve in environmental aspects [31]. Moreover, in the Asian context, GHRM based on AMO theory has added evidence on the firm performance in education institutes of China [16]. Similarly, a qualitative comparative approach in the international context of three European firms showed the evidence of proactive environmental management [32]. From the GHRM perspective, the literature shows that all HRM functions can become GHRM functions and build environmentally sustainable staff and green organizational skills that are essential to an organization’s environmental success [33].
Hypothesis 1 (H1). 
GHRM is positively related with OP.
Hypothesis 2 (H2). 
CSR is positively related with OP.

2.4. Mediating Role of Perceived Organizational Support

Perceived organizational support (POS) is termed as the observation by workers as to how much an organization values their efforts and takes care of their overall wellbeing that meets the socio-emotional needs of an employee [34]. In general, companies operate to portray themselves as an important symbol at the center of their workers through social exchange channels. As a result, employees form social exchange connections with their employers, which are often based on the sense of employee involvement and gratitude from their employers [35].
Employees must obtain support and appreciation from their employers to explore innovative solutions to work-related issues. Either approach might entail enlisting employees in activities that are unrelated to their primary responsibilities and demonstrating that their employer or coworkers benefit [36]. The intervening part of perceived organizational support between green human resource management and organizational performance still needs to be studied. Recent research on the influence of green human resource management practices on green behaviors also adopted the intervening role of green knowledge sharing to explore the sustainable performance of the organization [37].
Hypothesis 3 (H3). 
POS mediates the relation between GHRM and OP.
Hypothesis 4 (H4). 
POS mediates the relation between CSR and OP.

2.5. Mediating Role of Affective Commitment

The emotional attachment of an employee towards its company is termed as affective commitment [38]. Employees with a high level of emotional commitment want to stay at their company because of the pleasant sensations they get from their connection with it. The role of affective commitment to human resource management is proving the cornerstone to improvise the human capital of the organization [39]. Workplace behavior and the relationship shared by the employees and their firms are highly affected by the commitment of employees [40]. Prior research on the hotel industry explored the link between GHRM and the environmental performance of hotels through the organizational commitment of employees and eco-friendly actions in two separate settings (green and non-green hotels). Kim et al. (2019) concluded that employee concern on eco-friendly behavior and performance inclination towards the environment has a significant link with their commitment [41].
Hypothesis 5 (H5). 
AC mediates the relation between GHRM and OP.
Hypothesis 6 (H6). 
AC mediates the relation between CSR and OP.

2.6. Green Transformational Leadership as Moderator

Green transformational leadership is seen as a key element for rising organizations’ green efficacy [42]. It empowers workers to perform efficiently when considering green self-efficacy. In particular, supervisory support and encouraging senior management promote environmental actions by employees to produce environmentally friendly products with lesser resources and help pollution reduction. Meanwhile, sustainable organizational performance can be directly linked with the leaders and their role in improving the creativity for environmental performance output [43]. Moreover, GTL fully exemplifies the beliefs, attitudes, values, and behavior of the higher-level management and this direct link with organizational performance [42]. This study considered transformational leadership because it has an idealized influence [44] and provides a huge source of motivation and uses intellectual stimulation [45]. Exceptional to the other study, this research tried to investigate the new moderation role of transformational leadership in the relationship between GHRM and POS. On purpose, the following hypothesis is posited:
Hypothesis 7 (H7). 
GTL moderates the mediated model on the relationship between GHRM and OP such that the effect of GHRM on OP is stronger when GTL is high than when it is low.

3. Conclusions

We have identified in the literature that sustainable organizational performance is the major agenda of companies nowadays. There are various organizational and employee variables that directly or indirectly influence the performance of the organization. However, past literature lacks in the important role of such factors in a firm’s performance in the context of developing countries such as Nepal, where development is starting to pick up and construction organizations are in a gradual growth phase. Additionally, construction organizations of the developing states still need to research further on how to integrate these human resource practices, including the green concept.
Businesses focus on various areas of corporate social responsibility, such as stakeholders’ interests, public social security, and environmental sustainability. Green human resource management will guarantee achieving stakeholders’ needs and environmental commitments. Since it focuses on the preservation and protection of natural resources, as well as the minimization of waste, GHRM practices aid in the development of biodiversity. As a result, there is a close connection between CSR, GHRM, and sustainability. The organization needs to comply with both the green aspect and social responsibility to meet the sustainability of its operations and performance.


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    Ahmed, F. Green Human Resource Management. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 28 June 2022).
    Ahmed F. Green Human Resource Management. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 28, 2022.
    Ahmed, Fawad. "Green Human Resource Management," Encyclopedia, (accessed June 28, 2022).
    Ahmed, F. (2021, August 10). Green Human Resource Management. In Encyclopedia.
    Ahmed, Fawad. ''Green Human Resource Management.'' Encyclopedia. Web. 10 August, 2021.