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Does Adoption of Management Standards Deliver Efficiency Gain in Firms’ Pursuit of Sustainability Performance? An Empirical Investigation of Chinese Manufacturing Firms

by 1,*,†, 2,† and 2
1
School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Environment, Enterprise & Development, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070694
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Building on longitudinal data from 73 Chinese manufacturing firms during 2009–2012, we assess whether and how firms gain higher efficiency in achieving their sustainability goals by adopting management practice standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and/or OHSAS 18001). We propose four pathways for firms to gain sustainability efficiency in their certification journey: participation, qualitative integration, quantitative expansion, and temporal accumulation. Our results confirm that firms certifying management standards gain higher efficiency in pursuing their sustainability goals than firms without these standards. We also find some support for increased efficiency effect in firms with diverse management systems over firms with only a single certificate in 2011. Finally, our results highlight the experiential and temporal accumulation effect of such efficiency gains, that is, firms with prior certification experience or having a longer certification history demonstrate higher efficiency gains in pursuing their sustainability goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: ISO 9001; ISO 14001; OHSAS 18001; dynamic capability; corporate sustainability efficiency ISO 9001; ISO 14001; OHSAS 18001; dynamic capability; corporate sustainability efficiency
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Lin, H.; Weber, O. Does Adoption of Management Standards Deliver Efficiency Gain in Firms’ Pursuit of Sustainability Performance? An Empirical Investigation of Chinese Manufacturing Firms. Sustainability 2016, 8, 694.

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