Managers urged to design green innovation strategy

TOP managers in Bahraini firms do not see a correlation between a company’s culture and its corporate commitment to the environment, according to a recent study.

The ‘Antecedents of Green Innovation Performance: The Case of Bahrain’ study conducted by Bahrain University professors Jaafer Mohammed Al Mesaiadeen and Mehdi Mili, as well as Bahrain Polytechnic professor Ghassan Abu Al Soud, was recently published in the Journal of Statistics Applications and Probability.

“It seems that Bahraini society and its institutions have not yet succeeded in creating a green atmosphere,” the report said. “There are shortcomings by the institutions’ managers in collecting the latest green knowledge.”

The 350 respondents surveyed in the study include environmental specialists, supervisors and managers employed by 42 listed companies on the Bahrain Bourse and five non-listed companies, which were added by the researchers because they consider them major polluters due to the nature of their business.

A 30-item questionnaire was used to assess green innovation strategy, green organisational identity, environmental organisational legitimacy, and green creativity.

The study noted that having a strategy has a positive impact on actually implementing innovation in the field and making company stakeholders more receptive to reducing their environmental impact.

“In an era of environmental consciousness, managers must design a green innovation strategy,” the study added.

“However, managers must also recognise that the existence of a strategy alone is inadequate to improve green innovation performance directly.”

Researchers found that there was a significant relationship between environmental innovation within a company and its perceived legitimacy.

“Managers must investigate methods for creating a robust green company identity and use this identity to acquire environmental legitimacy from stakeholders,” they added.

“Organisational legitimacy may assist businesses in aligning their actions with societal expectations.”

The research also showed that organisations that have established legitimacy are more likely to engage in fostering an environmentally focused mindset.

The three researchers did find a correlation between creativity and innovation around environmental initiatives, noting that fostering a team spirit for sustainability can be an asset for businesses.

They urged businesses to lead initiatives around team building, brain-storming and financial incentives for boosting green innovation.

“When companies use original, new and valuable ideas for better green products, services, processes and practices, it starts a process that can help green innovation,” they added.

The researchers also hypothesised that a potential reason for the disconnect between organisational identity and green innovation is that “companies in emerging economies like Bahrain, unlike businesses in developed countries, are still figuring out what they want to do to cut their emissions.”




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