Enterprise-Level Motivations, Regulatory Pressures, and Corporate Environmental Management in Guangzhou, China

Shui-Yan Tang (First Author), Gerald E. Fryxell (Participant Author), Pansy Honying Li (Participant Author), Carlos Wing-Hung Lo (Participant Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

    5 Citations (Web of Science)


    This study examines the effects of internal motivations and external pressures on the integration of environmental management (EM) practices within manufacturing operations in China. The moderating role of perceptions toward the regulatory process is also considered along with comparisons between wholly Chinese-owned and foreign-owned enterprises. From a sample of 131 manufacturing companies in the Guangzhou area, it was found that the salience of fees and fines has a strong positive influence on perceptions toward the regulator (the local Environmental Protection Bureau, EPB). This also has a positive effect on perceptions toward regulations themselves for foreign-owned enterprises. Business-case motivations for EM positively shape enterprise perceptions toward regulations, whereas risk-reduction motivations have a negative effect on perceptions toward regulations in foreign-owned enterprises. Enterprise perceptions toward the regulatory process have direct effects on the integration of EM practices in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises, but in opposite directions. While positive perceptions toward regulations have positive influence, positive perceptions toward regulators (i.e., the EPB) negatively affect it. Overall, these results indicated that promoting the adoption of EM practices depends on convincing business leaders that EM practices contribute to profit making. The regulatory process can potentially promote these practices, but measures need to be taken to ensure that the regulator is not co-opted by the regulated, especially in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)777-790
    JournalEnvironmental Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Corresponding author email

    stang@usc.edu, pansy.li@polyu.edu.hk

    Project name

    Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (RGC)

    Project sponsor


    Project No.

    PolyU 5458/12H


    • China
    • Chinese-owned enterprises
    • Corporate environmental management
    • FIRMS
    • Foreign-owned enterprises
    • GREEN
    • Regulatory pressure

    Indexed by

    • ABDC-C
    • SCIE
    • Scopus
    • SCI
    • PubMed


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