Retailers increasingly recognize that environmental responsibility is a strategic imperative. However, little research has investigated or identified the factors that facilitate the successful implementation of environmentally responsible strategies across a network of customer-facing sales units (stores). We propose that a store manager’s ability to lead by example facilitates this process by fostering a supportive climate for store environmental stewardship (SENS-climate). By examining the influence of store managers’ actions on sales associates’ perceptions of the SENS-climate, as well as the subsequent impact on their performance—measured by margins, as well as sales of green and regular products—this study demonstrates that store managers can foster a SENS-climate by articulating their prioritization of environmental responsibility in their operational decisions. These positive effects are sustained by relational factors, such as the moderating effect of the store manager–sales associate dyadic tenure. In contrast, when store managers display high variability in their environmental orientation, it hinders the development of SENS-climate perceptions among sales associates. If sales associates perceive an enabling SENS-climate, they achieve higher margins and more green but fewer regular sales.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with Open Access at Springerlink.com.
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Electronic supplementary material: doi:10.1007/s11747-015-0446-5.
- environmental stewardship
- green products
- store climate