Environmental management research in hospitality

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise 149 hospitality-related studies published in the past two decades pertaining to environmental management (EM). The review was divided into three main stages: 1993-1999, 2000-2009 and 2010-2014 and provided future research directions. Design/methodology/approachThe study sample consisted of articles published between 1993 and 2014 in four leading hospitality journals. The four journals chosen were the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research. The title, abstract and the content, as needed, of all EM-related full-length articles from these four journals were content analysed. Editors’ notes, book reviews, industry news, conference papers and research notes were excluded from this paper. FindingsEM research in the hospitality industry during the first two stages focused on the development of environmental policies and practices, green consumerism, managers’ environmental attitudes, indoor air quality and smoke-free environments, sustainable development, environmental performance, environmental cost control and environmental management systems (EMSs). During the third stage from 2010 to 2014, topics about environmental benchmarking and indicators have surfaced. Notwithstanding this, EM in the environmental reporting, and green marketing have been pursued less enthusiastically. Research limitations/implicationsCompared with the mainstream management literature and considering the future development of EM, hospitality scholars are encouraged to extend their research to include green marketing, environmental technologies, environmental reporting, carbon footprint, employees’ green behaviour, the effects of EM on hospitality firms’ stakeholders and small- and medium-sized hospitality firms. In addition, more effort should be spent on developing hospitality-specific theories for EM. Originality/valueLittle has been done to determine the main research agendas in hospitality EM. A review of recent research on this topic provides an inventory of existing knowledge and points out areas requiring further knowledge exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-923
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Agenda 21
  • EMS
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental research
  • Review article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental management research in hospitality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this