A Multi-research-method approach to studying environmental sustainability in retail operations

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Retailers increasingly incorporate environmental protection measures to improve their value chain operations. Although environmental sustainability in operations management has been widely examined in the manufacturing context, its adoption in the retail industry is largely recent. In this study we explore, through both qualitative and quantitative approaches in the real retail context, what green practices retailers have put in place to meet the needs of diverse stakeholders and examine whether or not such practices improve retailers× financial performance. Undertaking this study in two phases, we first conducted a secondary data analysis of 345 publicly traded retailers in Japan to identify the green retail operations (GROs) that retailers have adopted. We presented empirical evidence on the performance impact of GROs adoption and analyzed changes in the performance before and after GROs adoption as measured by return-on-assets (ROA). In the second phase, we carried out an empirical study with survey data collected from 141 retailers in Hong Kong to validate the measurement of GROs and examined the financial implications of GROs adoption. We conclude that there is a positive impact of GROs adoption on firms' financial performance in the retail industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-404
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Financial performance
  • Green retailing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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