Can Environmental Regulations Promote Corporate Environmental Responsibility? Evidence from the Moderated Mediating Effect Model and an Empirical Study in China
School of Management Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, NC 28372, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030641
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
Based on the Stakeholder theory, a moderated mediating effect model is developed to reach the study objective, revealing an important connection that suggests environmental regulations (ERs) influence corporate environmental responsibility (CER) (Porter Hypothesis). In building the model, the validity of the questionnaire data was analyzed with factor analysis. By employing a two-step approach, a regression analysis is utilized to discuss the mediating effect of altruistic motivation and moderating effect of green innovation, and a structural equation model is used to explore the interactive mechanism of different variables. It is found that altruistic motivation plays a medium role in the relationship between ERs and CER, and green innovation engages a positive coordination in the relationship. The empirical study identifies factors affecting enterprises’ willingness to undertake environmental responsibility, including environment policies, corporate culture, and personal characters among others. It is also revealed that altruistic motivation is conducive to forming a community interests among enterprises and enhancing their resistance to market risks, which explains and corroborates the Stakeholder theory; and the higher the level of green innovation, the more willing enterprises are to implement environmentally friendly operations.