Environmental Standards and Labor Productivity: Understanding the Mechanisms that Sustain Sustainability

Journal of Organizational Behavior, Forthcoming

43 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2012 Last revised: 28 Sep 2012

Magali A. Delmas

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Sanja Pekovic

Université Paris - Dauphine

Date Written: August 10, 2012

Abstract

In the last decade, a rising number of firms have adopted voluntary international environmental management and product standards, such as the international ISO 14001 management standard or organic certification. Although emerging research analyzes the impact of these standards on environmental and financial performance, there is to our knowledge, no empirical research on how they affect the productivity of employees. In this paper, we investigate the direct relationship between environmental standards and labor productivity, as well as two mediating mechanisms through which environmental standards influence labor productivity: employee training and enhanced interpersonal contacts within the firm. Our empirical results, based on a French employer-employee survey from 5,220 firms, reveal that firms that have adopted environmental standards enjoy a one standard deviation higher labor productivity than firms that have not adopted such standards.

Keywords: environmental standards, positive social identity, training, interpersonal contacts, labor productivity, sustainability, corporate social responsibility

Suggested Citation

Delmas, Magali A. and Pekovic, Sanja, Environmental Standards and Labor Productivity: Understanding the Mechanisms that Sustain Sustainability (August 10, 2012). Journal of Organizational Behavior, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2144389

Magali A. Delmas (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Sanja Pekovic

Université Paris - Dauphine ( email )

223 Rue Saint-Honore
Paris, 75775
France

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