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Title: Green service in the consumer-product industry : conceptualization and performance implications
Authors: Chan, Ting Yan
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Green service (GS) is concerned with the provision of customer services to satisfy customer needs by taking environmental sustainability into account. Although the implementation of GS is imperative for consumer-product firms in responding to growing stakeholder pressure to be environmentally responsible, research on GS is confined to examining customer service practices such as product take-back and recycling activities, and has the tendency to focus on managing environmental damage caused by product development, usage, and disposal. Prior studies have neglected the environmental damages caused by hardware infrastructures (e.g., use of facilities and equipment), operations (e.g., logistics processes), and cross-function efforts (e.g., information sharing and learning) in customer service activities in the various stages of a supply chain. There is a lack of GS measurements that comprise activities which span from product development to disposal, and limited knowledge on how consumer-product firms can engage in different organizational practices and activities to satisfy customer needs with reduced costs and environmental impacts for sustainable development. Prior research on GS is mostly case examples or anecdotal evidence that demonstrates the economic and environmental impacts of GS implementation, thus neglecting their impacts on customers in terms of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. As an attempt to bridge the research gaps in the literature on GS, this study conceptualizes GS in the context of consumer-product firms, empirically validates a GS measurement scale, and examines the performance consequences of GS implementation. Based on the natural resource based view, this study conceptualizes GS with the important environmental traits of pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development, which are crucial for consumer-product firms to be environmentally responsible in their economic activities. This study examines the relationships of GS, revenue growth, cost savings, environmental performance, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. A multi-method research design is adopted. In this study, interviews, content analyses, and a mass survey research have been carried out to collect primary and secondary data to theoretically develop and empirically validate the measurement scale of GS, and test hypotheses in five research phases.
The empirical findings suggest that GS is a third-order construct with three theoretical dimensions, namely, pollution prevention-, product-, and long-term development-oriented practices, where each consists of three sub-dimensions, thus resulting in a total of 34 measurement items. The results show that the implementation of GS is positively related to environmental performance, revenue growth, cost savings, and customer satisfaction. The empirical findings also confirm the theorization on the positive relationships of GS implementation, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and revenue growth. In addition, the results show that customer satisfaction has a mediating effect on the relationship between GS and customer loyalty, and customer loyalty has a mediating effect on the relationship between customer satisfaction and revenue growth. This study contributes to the literature and practices by identifying GS activities that can be useful in reducing environmental damage caused by customer service activities of consumer-product firms, which have been neglected as a source of pollution due to their distinctive characteristic of being intangible. This study provides a useful reference for consumer-product firms to understand the organizational practices and activities of GS, and the breadth and depth of their implementation, which will guide them on taking proper environmental management measures to mitigate environmental damage from their customer service activities, while improving business performance for sustainable development. In particular, the case examples collected from content analysis and the validated GS measurement scale provide examples of GS implementation. Consumer-product firms can consider the approaches adopted by the sample firms in the content analysis to implement their own GS activities. On the other hand, the validated GS measurement scale could serve as a diagnostic tool for consumer-product firms to assess their current GS implementation, and identify areas for GS implementation and improvement actions. The analysis results will be useful for managers of consumer-product firms to plan their assessment, reporting, and monitoring mechanisms for GS implementation.
Subjects: Consumer behavior.
Consumer goods -- Environmental aspects.
Green products.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: x, 363 pages ; 30 cm
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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