5.1. Research Results
The test results of the specific model are shown in Table 7
. Obviously, the behavior attitude has a positive effect on the developers’ behavior intention to the developers’ GP behavior, and the standardization coefficient is 0.299, which is significant under p
< 0.001, assuming that H1 is proved. Subjective norms have a positive effect on the intention of developers’ GP behavior. The standardization coefficient is 0.213, which is significant under p
< 0.001, assuming that H2 is proved; Perceptual behavior control has a positive effect on developers’ willingness. The standardization coefficient is 0.316, which is significant under p
< 0.001, assuming that H3 is proved. The subjective norms experienced by developers have a positive effect on behavior and attitude. The standardized path coefficient is 0.246, which is significant at the level of p
< 0.001, assuming that H5 is proved. Perceptual behavior control also has a positive effect on behavior attitude. The standardized path coefficient is 0.455, which is significant at p
< 0.001. H6 is proved. The behavior intention of developer GP has a significant positive effect on its actual behavior. Its standardized path coefficient is 0.379, which is significant at p
< 0.001 level, assuming that H7 is proved. The intention of the developer acts as an intermediary between the behavior attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavior control and the actual behavior of the final developer. Additionally, perceptual behavior control has a direct impact on the actual behavior of developers. The standardized path coefficient is 0.315, which is significant at the level of p
< 0.001, and H4 is proved.
This paper constructs and analyzes the decision-making model of developers’ GP behavior based on TPB. The findings of the current study support the hypothesis that, in accordance with the TPB research area. The structural equation model is used to verify and analyze the basic research hypotheses of the model. The conclusion demonstrates that the behavior intention of developer GP has a significant positive effect on the actual behavior of GP. The developers’ actual behavior of GP is indirectly influenced by three kinds of pre-variables, including behavior attitude, subjective norm and perceptual behavior control, while the intermediate variable is GP behavior attitude. In addition, perceptual behavior control directly affects the actual behavior of the developers’ GP. The detailed discussion and analysis are presented as follows:
Developers’ GP behavior, affected by different factors, presents a complex behavior state. According H1–3, it can be seen that the GP behavior intention of the developers is directly influenced by the developers’ behavior attitude, subjective norm and perceptual behavior control. According to H5 and H6, the subjective norms and perceptual behavior control of developers indirectly affect the willingness of GP behavior of developers through GP behavior attitude. It indicates that the more active the developers’ attitude towards GP, the greater the internal and external environment support for GP, and the stronger the ability to control the developers’ own resources and external response, the more willing the developer is to implement GP.
In the decision-making process of developers’ purchasing behavior, the whole purchasing behavior system is more complicated because as it contains many related participants and various complicated factors related to the construction project environment. According to H7, the higher the willingness of the developer GP behavior, the better the developer can choose the GP behavior. Based on the assumption, the perception of behavior control will directly influence the GP behavior of the developer. In addition, according to the structure of the model, developers’ GP behavior will play an intermediary role between the behavior attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavior control and the actual behavior of the developers’ GP.
5.2. Management Implications
Improving developer managers’ awareness of GP behavior is necessary. Developers’ attitude towards GP behavior not only directly affects the developers’ GP behavior through that behavior’s intention, but also has an important intermediary utility. Subjective norms and perceptual behavior control also need to influence the actual GP behavior through the behavior’s intention. As a result, the GP behavior intention plays a decisive role in developers’ GP behavior level. Therefore, developers’ managers should constantly improve the cognitive level of GP behavior.
It is regarded as an effective way to promote GP for enterprise managers to formulate green planning and management strategy. These green plans and strategies put pressure on employees within an organization to GP behavior. The greater the pressure on employees within the enterprise is, the higher the tendency to GP. Additionally, this rule is also prevalent in the construction industry of the United States [83
], the United Kingdom [45
] and Australia [84
]. However, the research found that the actual internal pressure on employees in Chinese real estate enterprises is not great and thus the degree of implementation of GP in real estate enterprises is not high. This is largely due to the lack of environmental-related enterprise planning and policies. Actually, this problem is common in many developing and developed countries. For example, Kiron et al. [84
] conducted a worldwide survey of the sustainable development of enterprises, finding that construction companies generally did not focus on formulating policies to encourage employees and partners to make a positive response to environmental issues.
There are several reasons why Chinese developers do not pay attention to the practice of GP. First of all, GP will significantly increase the development costs of construction projects, which may harm the economic benefits of developers. This also makes many developers; especially small developers deterred. In recent years, because China’s real estate industry is not good enough, small developers have small profits and difficulty in the financing, it is difficult to afford the high cost of GP and thus they are unwilling to invest in green and environmental affairs [25
]. In addition, even though there are some large developers who can afford the high cost of GP behavior, they are also reluctant to invest in GP. This is mainly due to the high expectations of these developers for short-term returns and high turnover rates, the general lack of the concept of life cycle cost management, as well as the lack of understanding of the cost-effectiveness of green building materials in the construction and use stages.
Second, there are some developers rarely involved in environmental protection. Due to the lack of relevant professional experience, personnel, tools and methods, these enterprises have difficulty in scientifically and objectively evaluating the benefits of purchasing certain green building materials. Therefore, developers do not understand the short-term and long-term benefits brought by GP. In this case, to avoid the possible risks, the majority of enterprise managers choose to continue to employ the traditional procurement methods. Research [32
] reveal that the real estate market in Canada also has this problem, and the lack of relevant professional training has made many companies unable or afraid to use green building technology to build photovoltaic systems.
Finally, developers are generally concerned about the quality of green building materials. Green building materials are new products, and their development still remains in the initial stage. In the interview, the interviewees enumerated a series of technical problems existing in the existing products, such as strict requirements for construction environment, low durability and fire resistance. The technical problems of green building materials are actually widespread in other countries as well [8
]. It demonstrates that the existing green building materials have not been competent for all kinds of requirements of developers, and the related technical research needs to be strengthened so as to improve the overall performance of green building materials.
Strengthen the external pressure of developers’ GP behavior is necessary. As a rational economic man, developers have the motivation to pursue the maximization of economic benefits. In the process of project development, the GP behavior will be ignored considering the cost. The results show that subjective norms: Individual norms, exemplary norms and prescriptive norms exert an impact on the GP behavior of developers. The government should strengthen the education and concept of environmental protection through media publicity, network education, community activities and other forms to enhance the public’s awareness of green consumption. Besides, local governments can build public green buildings, such as libraries, science and technology museums, schools, hospitals, etc., to enhance public understanding of green buildings and to experience the benefits of green building materials and green building technologies, thus enhancing the attractiveness of green buildings to the public.
The demand and supply of green building materials market has brought important influence on the application of green building materials, which is mainly reflected in the external drivers of developers’ GP behavior mainly from the construction market, especially the consumers and competitors in the market [5
]. Carter and Dresner [85
] point out that consumers’ requirements for product environmental performance will have an important impact on the GP behavior of enterprises. In the construction industry in developed countries, consumers are considered to have preliminary environmental awareness, proposing some environmental-related requirements for construction products. For example, American developers have begun to widely use green building materials, such as energy-saving doors and windows, thermostats, as well as environmentally friendly water distribution pipes to satisfy the growing demand of consumers [83
]. However, Chinese consumers have always been regarded as less environmentally conscious than consumers in developed countries, who pay more attention to green consumption [86
]. Consequently, it may dispel the enthusiasm of developers’ GP behavior to a certain extent.
In addition, competitors’ green strategy will also put pressure on enterprises to carry out GP behavior [44
]. According to relevant studies, in the Chinese construction industry, developers have begun to focus on the green development strategy adopted by competitors and actively adjust their own corporate strategic planning [5
]. For example, some large-scale Chinese developers, such as Vanke and Fang Xing, are observing the rise of other developers whose core business philosophy is green development, and they have also begun to carry out GP behavior and develop a large number of green buildings. Such benign competition can not only promote the green and low carbon development of the industry, but also help to improve the competitiveness of developers [87
]. Therefore, it can be predicted that in the future, there will be an increasing number of developers in China’s construction market, due to market pressure to carry out GP behavior.
Considerable studies have shown that enterprises will also be driven by market interests to carry out GP behavior [15
]. Research by Berns et al. [89
] demonstrates that consumers’ environmental aspirations are in fact providing businesses with valuable, unprecedented business opportunities. Production and sale of green products in line with the needs of the general public will bring a large number of market benefits. In China, construction market products homogenization is currently very serious [90
]. Green building materials products have a variety of advantages which can effectively help developers to carry out product differentiation, attract consumers and thus gain market benefits. Deng and Wu [91
] conducted a field survey of the construction market in Singapore, showing that through the adoption of a variety of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly green building materials and technologies. Developers have succeeded in achieving a premium on construction products-an average 4.1 percent increase in initial sales and a 9.9 percent increase in secondary sales. Developers will pay increasing attention to the environmental image of manufacturers when buying products, and enterprises with good environmental image will possess the opportunity to compete for larger market share.
Improving developers’ ability to GP behavior is necessary. According to the basic model constructed in the present study, it can be concluded that perceptual behavior control has a significant impact on the GP behavior of developers. Varnas [38
] indicates that many enterprises are not currently capable of GP. Akadiri [8
] found that Nigeria’s construction enterprises lack scientific evaluation tools for green building materials, and it is difficult to evaluate the environmental performance of building materials effectively, seriously impeding the behavior of GP. In addition, the inadequacy of GP behavior will also lead to the wrong estimation of the incremental cost of green building materials. Enterprises widely involved in the development of green housing products can more accurately estimate the development costs of green buildings. Those who are rarely involved in green buildings will seriously overestimate the incremental costs of green buildings and GP. This wrong overestimation of the cost will greatly hurt the enthusiasm of developers to step into the green building industry and hinder developers from the implementation of GP behavior [92
]. Developers have different scales and qualification levels. Generally, large-scale developers with high qualification level will provide better green support for employees’ green training and GP behavior selection in the environment of building projects. However, due to the size of the enterprise and limited income, small and medium-sized developers are often lacking green learning and training. Therefore, the management and management level of the developer should be constantly strengthened, the scale and strength of the developer should be enhanced, and thus the GP behavior of the staff can be better trained and effectively implemented in the selection and application of the building materials. In addition, developers can also improve developers’ GP behavior awareness and level through relying on building associations, industry management and other resources and strength, as well as a multi-channel understanding of green construction enterprises. GP behavior is also an interdisciplinary enterprise management behavior, requiring the cooperation of the design department, cost department, procurement department and other multi-department employees. The effectiveness of GP behavior often depends on the cooperation between these professionals [14
]. The lack of clarity in the division of responsibilities, obligations and competencies will seriously hinder the benefits of the GP behavior of an enterprise. Consequently, developers need to reasonably define the responsibilities, obligations and competencies of each functional department in dealing with environmental matters, in order to promote cooperation and communication between the various departments [17