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Senior Managers Perception on Green


Information Systems (IS) Adoption and
Business Value: Results from a Field Survey
ARTICLE in INFORMATION & MANAGEMENT OCTOBER 2013
Impact Factor: 1.87 DOI: 10.1016/j.im.2013.01.004

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Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

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Information & Management


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/im

Case studies in research

Senior managers perception on green information systems (IS)


adoption and environmental performance: Results from a eld survey
Roya Gholami a,*, Ainin Binti Sulaiman b, T. Ramayah c, Alemayehu Molla d
a

Operations & Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, UK
Department of Operation and Management Information System, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Malaysia
c
Department for Operations Management Section at the School of Management, USM, Malaysia
d
School of Business Information Technology and Logistics, RMIT University, Australia
b

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history:
Received 8 October 2012
Received in revised form 18 December 2012
Accepted 11 January 2013
Available online 4 July 2013

Based on a Belief-Action-Outcome framework, we produced a model that shows senior managers


perception of both the antecedents to and the consequences of Green IS adoption by a rm. This
conceptual model and its associated hypotheses were empirically tested using a dataset generated
from a survey of 405 organizations. The results suggest that coercive pressure inuences the attitude
toward Green IS adoption while mimetic pressure does not. In addition, we found that there was a
signicant relationship between Green IS adoption, attitude, and consideration of future consequences. Finally, we found that only long term Green IS adoption was positively related to
environmental performance.
2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Green IS
Adoption
Environmental performance
Personality traits
Institutional theory

1. Introduction
The relationship between Information Technology (IT) and
the environment is complex, as IT can have both rst and second
order effects [11]. The rst order effect is due to the negative
environmental impact of IT production, use, and disposal [2].
Thus, making this effect greener has been termed Green IT,
which considers ITs environmental impact primarily as a
problem to be mitigated. On the other hand, the second-order
effect involves the positive impact of using Information Systems
(IS) to improve the eco-sustainability of businesses and society;
this is termed Green IS [6].
This Green IS viewpoint sees IS as a partial solution to many
environmental problems [8]. IS facilitates the reuse of waste and
energy and can serve as a tool for industrial symbiosis, which
involves the the mutualistic interaction of different industries for
benecial reuse of waste ows or energy cascading that results in a
more resource-efcient production system and fewer adverse
environmental impacts [12].
We primarily focused here on Green IS, which can reduce the
environmental impact of rms actions, and how it can contribute
to environmental sustainability [17,24]; few studies have empirically assessed Green IS adoption at the level of the rm.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 121 204 3103.


E-mail address: r.gholami@aston.ac.uk (R. Gholami).
0378-7206/$ see front matter 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2013.01.004

By reviewing the literature, Brooks et al. [4] produced some


questions needing further investigation. The rst was: What are
the motivational drivers for a company to choose to begin Green IS
adoption? Prior research on Green IS initiation focused mainly on
understanding when organizations were ready to adopt Green IS
initiatives [19,20]. However, organizations do not necessarily
begin Green IS adoption, when they are ready for it. A survey by
Molla et al. [19] found that the biggest disincentive to adopting
Green IT was cost followed by unclear business value. Brooks et al.
also argued that after adoption had occurred, there were still
considerations leading to a second important question: What are
the impacts of the adoption of Green IS technologies and practices on
rms environmental performance?
Therefore, we decided to study the motivational drivers of a
company when choosing to begin Green IS adoption and its
subsequent impact on the rms environmental performance.
Green IS adoption might be motivated out of concern for the
planet, but few companies are willing to give up operational
efciency or effectiveness for environmental concerns, investment
in Green IS are still expected to meet the objectives of economic
performance.
2. Theoretical background
Melville argues that environmental sustainability involves
human behavior and the broader social, organizational, and
environmental context; it therefore covers both micro and macro

432

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

issues. Many studies have examined the link between beliefs,


intentions, and behavior in IT adoption and use cognitive based
models such as Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and motivationability-expectation.
Similarly, a number of theories have been formulated to help
understand the factors and forces that inuence organizational
Green IS initiatives, such as motivational theory [21], institutional
theory and the technology-organization-environment framework
[10]. While these theories are valuable in understanding antecedents to Green IS adoption, they are less applicable in explaining
the outcome of Green IS adoption.
In choosing the theoretical framework for our research, we
sought a framework that can both help in understanding the
antecedents of Green IS adoption and also integrates them with the
outcomes of the adoption. We found that Melvilles Belief-ActionOutcome framework (BOA) was suitable for our purpose.
The BOA links the inuence of social and organizational
contexts on individuals and organizations beliefs and the
inuence of them on actions and the subsequent outcome. The
framework therefore links macro-level constructs with micro-level
constructs (individuals) to study the role of IS for environmental
sustainability. This implies that managerial beliefs and commitments lead to organizational action that eventually leads to
outcomes.
We have therefore taken a micro-macro focus, investigating
characteristics of an individual strategic thinker (senior manager)
and the dynamical activities that take place among senior
managers. However, senior managers are also inuenced by the
organizational context, which must also be included. In essence,
we argue that managers attitudes and beliefs about the natural
environment motivate organizational action to intensify Green IS
adoption. The consequences of this can result in a better
environment. This argument resulted in our research model.
3. Hypothesis development
There are a number of technologies (including collaborative
ones, such as video and teleconferencing, enterprise carbon and
emission management systems, and energy informatics systems)
and practices (such as implementing policies on using IS to manage
emission, energy and other enterprise assets) that result in Green
IS. Green IS adoption by an organization can be observed by
determining the extent to which an organization is embedding IS
in its pollution prevention (reducing overall emissions, waste and
hazardous materials), product stewardship (enhancing the environmental friendliness of upstream and downstream supply
chain management), and sustainable development (transforming
business) [5].
We proposed that micro (individual attitude and consideration
of future consequences) and macro (institutional pressure) inuence
Green IS adoption, which can result in better environmental
performance.
3.1. Attitude toward Green IS adoption
Attitude is an affective characteristic of senior managers; it
measures the extent to which they are aware of and interested
in Green IS. Senior Managers play an important role in
conveying the strategic importance of Green IS across the
organization and in making resource allocations. In particular,
their positive attitude is necessary for Green IS adoption to be
successful [3].
Managers who are interested in or responsible for
environmental sustainability inuence organizational Green IS
initiatives and transformations. We therefore proposed the
hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1a. Managers with more positive attitude toward


Green IS will be more likely to adopt Green IS with pollution
prevention orientation.
Hypothesis 1b. Managers with more positive attitude toward
Green IS will be more likely to adopt Green IS with product
stewardship orientation.
Hypothesis 1c. Managers with more positive attitude toward
Green IS will be more likely to adopt Green IS with sustainable
development orientation.

3.2. Consideration of future consequences (CFC)


Cognitive models do not capture all antecedents of behavior.
Incorporating psychological variables such as personality traits into
cognitive based models should help bridge the intention-behavior
gap. A few studies have found a signicant role of personality traits
(individuals concern with immediate vs. future consequences of
their behavior CFC) as predictors of human beliefs and behavior
[9,23].
Individuals low in CFC, attach a high degree of importance to
the immediate consequences of behavior; whereas those high in
CFC attach a high degree of importance to the future consequences
of behavior. Joireman et al. [14] examined the relationship
between preference for commuting to work by car or public
transportation and found individuals high in CFC preferred
commuting by public transportation. Hence, we hypothesized:
Hypothesis 2a. Managers high in CFC will be more likely to adopt
Green IS with pollution prevention orientation.
Hypothesis 2b. Managers high in CFC will be more likely to adopt
Green IS with product stewardship orientation.
Hypothesis 2c. Managers high in CFC will be more likely to adopt
Green IS with sustainability development orientation.
3.3. Institutional pressure
Previous authors have suggested that institutional theory is
appropriate vehicle when investigating how institutional forces
lead a rm to be responsive to the needs of others in society [15].
Institutional pressure occurs via three ways normative, mimetic,
or coercive [7].
Following Chen et al., we chose to investigate the impact of
mimetic and coercive pressures on senior managers attitude on
Green IS adoption. Mimetic isomorphism is normally the rms
response to uncertainty when the course of action is unclear. It
occurs because many other rms have adopted a technology or
practice and the positive impacts achieved because of this action.
Coercive isomorphism, on the other hand, is driven by both formal
and informal pressure from other rms; e.g. those in the supply
chain. Therefore, senior managers attitude toward the adoption of
Green IS can change due to pressure from regulatory bodies,
suppliers, and customers.
Coercive pressure derived from regulatory bodies will occur
mostly in the most regulated elds. Hence, environmental issues
are considered as negative externalities, which force senior managers to improve the environmental performance of the rm [25].
Carbone and Moatti argue that coercive pressures affect all
companies in a similar manner leading to the regulation of
adaptive processes. Hence, we expect that managers of companies
affected by coercive isomorphism will develop positive attitude to

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

adopting Green IS, resulting in both environmental and commercial benets. We therefore postulated:
Hypothesis 3a. Higher coercive pressure will lead to a more positive attitude toward Green IS adoption.
Mimetic isomorphism suggests that rms will follow leading
rms who have realized benets from being the rst movers in the
industry. Following Carbone and Moatti, we proposed that when
there is little pressure from regulatory bodies, the diffusion of
Green IS will be motivated primarily by imitating competitors or
trading partners. Thus we hypothesized:
Hypothesis 3b. Higher mimetic pressure will lead to a more
positive attitude toward Green IS adoption.
3.4. Environmental performance
The uptake of Green IS by organizations has been extremely
slow. However it has the potential to reduce energy consumption
in several ways. It might induce organizations to focus on recycling
waste or use collaboration tools, telecommuting, and video
conferencing to reduce travel costs, or employ lean management
principles that help them achieve same output with less resources
and higher efciency and therefore reducing total energy
consumption by maximizing the efciency of internal processes
such as job scheduling, procurement, order fulllment, engineering change, design optimization, and other day-to-day operations.
Thus, we hypothesized:
Hypothesis 4. The Green IS adoption (a) for pollution prevention
(b) product stewardship and (c) sustainable development are
positively associated with environmental performance of a rm.

Our model included antecedents to Green IS adoption and its


impact on rms environmental performance as shown in Fig. 1.
3.5. Operationalization of constructs
A questionnaire was developed from past studies. Two items on
attitude were included; I like using Green IS technologies and
practices (ATT1) and I look forward to those aspects of my job
that require me to use Green IS (ATT2). The Consideration for
Future Consequences items required the respondents to state the
extent to which they consider the potential distant outcomes
of their current behavior and the extent to which they were

Macro
Figure 1:
Factors
Coercive
Pressure

Micro (Belief
Factors
H3a

433

inuenced by these potential outcomes. The study adopted 12


items from Joireman et al. [13] (CFC1 to CFC12).
The items for mimetic (MP1 to MP3) and coercive pressures (CP1
to CP3) were taken from Chen et al. We measured mimetic pressure
using three items that measured the perceived success of
competitors, suppliers, and customers that had adopted Green
IS and coercive pressure by asking respondents to indicate
whether their organizations were pressured to adopt Green IS
by regulations, suppliers, or customers.
Following Chen et al., Green IS adoption was operationalized
through three dependent variables; pollution prevention (PP1 to
PP3), product stewardship (PS1 to PS2) and sustainable development (SUS1 to SUS3). Each question asked respondents to indicate
the adoption status of the rm (whether they agreed or disagreed
on a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 representing strongly disagree to 5
strongly agree). We used the level of institutionalization (i.e., the
existence of policies/regulations/incentives) of Green IS practices
as a proxy for adoption. This measure, as opposed to the traditional
adoption measures of frequency and scope, captured the stabilized
organizational behaviors. Environmental performance consisted of
6 items adapted from Melnyk et al. [16]. Table 1 summarizes the
items used.
4. Research methodology
4.1. Sample and data
To test the conceptual model and associated hypotheses, we
used a dataset generated from a survey questionnaire, which was
distributed to businesses in Malaysia. Sustainability has particular
salience for emerging economies because it has positive and
negative externalities, and supply chains of many contemporary
rms cut across country boundaries. The upstream of many supply
chains exists in emerging and developing countries but
the downstream may be located in developed countries [18].
Currently, developed countries account for a large percentage of
global CO2 emissions. However, emerging markets are likely to
show signicantly higher growth rates in CO2 emissions due to
their higher rates of economic growth and expanding urban
populations. In Malaysia, the government has been actively
promoting the use of technology for sustainable growth and
economy.
Ten business areas and ten industrial locations were identied
in the Klang Valley of Malaysia, as it has the highest percentage of
businesses located there. To collect data, three enumerators were
sent to the various business and industrial locations. These

Action
and its Impact

Outcome

Green IS Adoption for


Pollution Prevention

Attitude

H4a
Mimetic
A

Pressure

H3b

Two items on attitude

; I

H4b

Consideration
of Future
Consequences

Green IS Adoption for


Product Stewardship

Environmental
Performance

H4c
Green IS Adoption for
Sustainable
Development

12 items

were
et al. [13]

Fig. 1. Our research model for Green IS adoption and its impact on performance.

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

434
Table 1
Operationalization of our constructs.
Construct

Measure

Item

Code

Institutional
pressure

Mimetic pressure

- My rms main competitors who have adopted Green IS


benetted greatly nancially.
- Within my rms supply chain management, those who have
adopted Green IS are perceived favorably by their customers.
- Within my rms supply chain management, those who have
adopted Green IS have beneted greatly nancially.
- Current and foreseeable regulations are pressuring my rm to
adopt Green IS.
- My rms suppliers are pressuring us to adopt Green IS.
- My rms major customers are pressuring us to adopt
Green IS.

MP1

Perceived success of competitors, suppliers and customers


who have adopted Green IS

Coercive pressure
Pressure from regulatory bodies
Pressure from major customers and suppliers

Consideration
of future
consequences

Green IS adoption

- I consider how things might be in the future, and try to inuence those things with my day to day behavior.
- I engage in a particular behavior in order to achieve outcomes that may not result for many years.
- I only act to satisfy immediate (i.e., a matter of days or weeks) concerns, guring the future will take care of itself.
- My behavior is only inuenced by the immediate outcomes of my actions.
- My convenience is a big factor in the decisions I make or the actions I take.
- I am willing to sacrice my immediate happiness or well-being in order to achieve future outcomes.
- I think it is important to take warnings about negative outcomes seriously even if the negative outcome will not occur for many
years.
- I think it is more important to carry out behavior with important distant consequences than behavior with less-important
immediate consequences.
- I generally ignore warnings about possible future problems because I think the problems will be resolved before they reach crisis
level.
- I think that sacricing now is usually unnecessary since future outcomes can be dealt with at a later time.
- I only act to satisfy immediate concerns, guring that I will take care of future problems that may occur at a later date.
- Since my day to day work has specic outcomes, it is more important to me than behavior that has distant outcomes
IS for pollution prevention
Green IS adoption to reduce overall emissions, waste and
hazardous materials

IS for product stewardship

Green IS adoption to enhance the environmental friendliness of


upstream and downstream supply chain management

IS for sustainable development

Green IS adoption to transform business

Environmental
performance

After implementing Green IS, there has been


specic benets achieved

- My rm has policies that encourage installation of software to


reduce overall emissions.
- My rm has policies that encourage installation of software to
reduce overall waste.
- My rm has policies that encourage installation of software to
reduce overall use of hazardous and toxic materials.

MP3
CP1
CP2
CP3

CFC1
CFC2
CFC3
CFC4
CFC5
CFC6
CFC7
CFC8
CFC9
CFC10
CFC11
CFC12
PP1
PP2
PP3

- My rm has policies that encourage installation of software to


make material sourcing and acquisition more environmentally
friendly.
- My rm has policies that encourage installation of software to
make the product distribution and delivery more
environmentally friendly.

PS1

- My rm has policies that encourage online collaboration tools


(beyond email) to substitute for travel (e.g. video conferencing,
etc.).
- My rm has policies that encourage employee
telecommuting.
- My rm has policies that encourage transforming its business
processes to be paperless.

SUS1

- Environmental certication
-

enumerators distributed one questionnaire to each organization.


The target respondents were the companys senior management
whose scope of work included implementing Green IS technology
and practices. Some companies however did not agree to
participate. Finally, six hundred companies agreed to participate
and a respondent was identied for each company. The enumerators either left the questionnaire to be collected later or met the
respondents and discussed the questionnaire with them.
After three months, a total of 508 responses had been received.
Analysis of these showed that 405 of the respondent rms were
adopting Green IS while the remaining 103 were not. The
demographic prole of the adopters is shown in Table 2, which
indicates that the majority of the respondents were from the

MP2

Reduction of waste
Reduction of emissions
Recycling performance
Environmental compliance improvement
Improved corporate image
Preserve environment
Social commitment

PS2

SUS2
SUS3

ENOV1
ENOV2
ENOV3
ENOV4
ENOV5
ENOV6
ENOV7
ENOV8

services sector and more than fty percent from small and medium
enterprises. More than 60 percent of the respondents held top
management posts and had been in that position for at least one
year. Thus all respondents were holding senior management posts
in their organization.
4.2. Data analysis
Partial Least Square (PLS) based Structural Equation Modelling
(SEM) was adopted for the data analysis; it is especially useful
when one dependent variable becomes an independent variable in
subsequent relationships and it does not involve assumptions of
homogeneity in variances and covariances of the dependent

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438


Table 2
Assessment of organizations (adopters).

435

Table 3
Factor loadings and reliability.
Frequency

Percentage

Position
President/CEO
Controller
GM/CIO
MIS director/specialist
Manager

29
43
120
89
124

7.2
10.6
29.5
22
30.7

Sector
Manufacturing
Services

80
325

19.8
80.2

Time in the position


5 years or less
610 years
10 years or more

206
122
77

50.9
30.1
19

Size
Small and medium
Large

260
145

64.2
35.8

variable. It also can simultaneously test the structural and the


measurement models, providing a more complete analysis for the
inter-relationships.
We used PLS because it makes minimal demands on the data
distributions, sample size, and measurement scales and as this
study was exploratory in nature, it is a better tool to explain the
data. The Smart PLS M2 Version 2.0 and two-step analysis
approach was used to analyze the data. Also a bootstrapping
method (1000 resamples) was used to determine the signicance
levels of the loadings, weights, and path coefcients.
4.2.1. Testing the measurement model
Since we had both reective and formative measures, we began
with the assessment of the reective measures using both
convergent and discriminant validity analysis. Factor loadings,
composite reliability and average variance extracted were used to
assess convergence validity. The loadings for all reective items
exceeded the recommended value of 0.6. Composite reliability
values (see Table 3), which showed the degree to which the items
indicated the latent construct, ranged from 0.79 to 0.95, which
exceeded the recommended value of 0.7. The average variance
extracted was in the range of 0.57 and 0.89 which exceeded the
recommended value of 0.5.
Next, the discriminant validity was tested. It was examined by
comparing the correlations between constructs and the square
root of the average variance extracted for that construct. As shown
in Table 4, the square root of the AVE is greater than the correlation
with other constructs indicating adequate discriminant validity.
Thus the reective measurement model demonstrated adequate
convergent and discriminant validity.

Scale type

Loadings/weightsa

AVEb

CRb

ATT1
ATT2

Reective

0.93
0.93

0.86

0.93

CFC1
CFC2
CFC5
CFC6
CFC7
CFC8
CFC9
CFC12

Formative

0.23
0.46
0.39
0.18
0.39
0.21
0.25
0.38

NA

NA

CP1
CP2
CP3

Reective

0.85
0.78
0.90

0.72

0.88

ENVO2
ENVO3
ENVO5
ENVO6
ENVO8

Formative

0.47
0.61
0.18
0.47
0.39

NA

NA

MP1
MP2
MP3

Reective

0.86
0.85
0.77

0.69

0.87

PP1
PP2
PP3

Reective

0.69
0.60
0.93

0.57

0.79

PS1
PS2

Reective

0.95
0.94

0.89

0.94

SUS1
SUS2
SUS3

Reective

0.93
0.92
0.94

0.87

0.95

a
For reective scales, the standardized loading is provided; for formative scales,
the weight of the linear combination is given.
b
CR = Composite reliability, AVE = Average Variance Extracted, both NA (Not
applicable) for formative scale.
Items ENVO1, ENVO4, ENVO5, ENVO7, CFC3, CFC4, CFC10 and CFC11 were deleted.

To validate the formative measures, we considered multicollinearity between indicators to be an important issue in
assessing formative measures. To test for multicollinearity, the
variance ination factor (VIF) was determined. Prior researchers
have suggested that the VIF should not be greater than 10.
We rst assessed the signicance of the weights and found
that there were several that were signicant; however we did
not delete them. Next, we looked at the VIF and found that there
were several items that had VIF of greater than 10. Finally we
looked at the correlation of the indicators with the latent
construct and found items that had insignicant weight and
were also not signicantly correlated with the latent constructs.
Thus 4 items for the construct consideration for future
consequences and 4 items from the environmental performance
were deleted.

Table 4
Inter-construct correlation.

Attitude
Coercive pressure
Environmental performance
Future consequences
Mimetic pressure
Pollution prevention
Product stewardship
Sustainable development

0.93
0.34
0.13
0.49
0.31
0.39
0.37
0.36

0.85
0.39
0.15
0.83
0.17
0.13
0.00

NA
0.08
0.4
0.02
0.12
0.23

NA
0.14
0.45
0.52
0.51

0.83
0.20
0.12
0.00

0.75
0.66
0.56

0.94
0.65

0.93

Note: Diagonal elements are the square root of the AVE of the reective scales while the diagonals are the correlations between constructs

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

436
Table 5
Summary of the structural model.
Hyp.
H3a
H3b
H1a
H1b
H1c
H2a
H2b
H2c
H4a
H4b
H4c

Description

Path coefcient

Coercive pressure ! attitude


Mimetic pressure ! attitude
Attitude ! pollution prevention
Attitude ! product stewardship
Attitude ! sustainable development
Future consequences ! pollution prevention
Future consequences ! product stewardship
Future consequences ! sustainable development
Pollution prevention ! environmental performance
Product stewardship ! environmental performance
Sustainable development ! environmental performance

Standard error

0.28
0.07
0.22
0.14
0.15
0.34
0.45
0.44
0.06
0.49
0.51

t-Value
**

0.09
0.09
0.06
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.05
0.05
0.14
0.16
0.11

3.04
0.78
3.47**
3.28**
3.18**
6.00**
9.25**
8.92**
0.44
3.15**
4.44**

Results
Supported
Not supported
Supported
Supported
Supported
Supported
Supported
Supported
Not supported
Not supported
Supported

* p  0.05.
**
p  0.01.

Coercive
Pressure

=0.28**
= 0.22**

Attitude
R2 = 0.12

Mimetic
Pressure

=0.07

Green IS adoption for


Pollution
Prevention
R2 = 0.24

= 0.06

= 0.14**

Green IS adoption for


Product
Stewardship
R2 = 0.29

= 0.15**

= -0.49**

Environmental
Performance
R2 = 0.18

= 0.34**

= 0.45**
Consideration of
Future Consequences
=0.44**

Green IS adoption for


Sustainable
Development
R2 = 0.28

= 0.51**

Fig. 2. Results of the structural model. Note: **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05.

4.2.2. Testing the structural model


Table 5 and Fig. 2 show the results of testing the structural model.
These show that coercive pressure (b = 0.28, p < 0.01) is positively
related to attitude while mimetic pressure was not signicantly
related to attitude. Thus H3a was supported but H3b was not.
The relationship between the attitude, consideration for future
consequences and Green IS adoption was next analyzed. Senior
managements attitude was signicantly related to pollution
prevention (b = 0.22, p < 0.01), product stewardship (b = 0.15,
p < 0.01) and sustainable development (b = 0.12, p < 0.01) which
supported H1a, H1b and H1c. CFC was also signicantly related to
pollution prevention (b = 0.34, p < 0.01), product stewardship
(b = 0.45, p < 0.01) and sustainable development (b = 0.44,
p < 0.01) which supported H2a, H2b and H2c. The last relationship
that was veried was that between Green IS adoption and
environmental performance; pollution prevention was not

signicantly related to environmental performance; product stewardship was negatively (b = 0.49, p < 0.01) related to environmental performance, and only sustainable development was
positively related (b = 0.51, p < 0.01) to environmental performance. Thus only H4c was supported and H4a and H4b were not.
4.2.3. Further analysis (adopters versus non-adopters)
Since we have collected data from adopters and non-adopters,
we were able to run a t-test to determine if there were signicant
differences between the responses from the two groups; the
results are presented in Table 6. The mean values for all constructs
were signicantly different except for consideration for future
consequences. The adopter group had a more positive attitude
toward Green IS and was subjected to higher coercive and mimetic
pressures. On the other hand, both adopters and non-adopters had
the same level of consideration for future consequences.

Table 6
Test of differences between adopters and non-adopters.
Construct

Attitude
Future consequences
Coercive pressure
Mimetic pressure
Pollution prevention
Product stewardship
Sustainable development
*
**

p < 0.05.
p < 0.01.

Adopter (n = 405)

Non-adopter (n = 103)

t-Value

Mean

Std. dev.

Mean

Std. dev.

3.66
3.24
3.40
3.42
3.71
3.62
3.61

1.07
0.46
1.00
0.89
0.74
0.89
1.10

3.43
3.24
2.24
2.97
2.35
2.16
2.39

0.98
0.40
0.91
0.82
0.72
0.67
0.72

1.99*
0.05
10.62**
4.69**
16.62**
18.31**
13.51**

R. Gholami et al. / Information & Management 50 (2013) 431438

437

5. Discussion of ndings

5.2. Policy implications

The research model explained 18% of the differences in


environmental performance and also explained 24%, 29%, and 28%
percent of the variance in Green IS adoption for pollution prevention,
product stewardship and sustainable development respectively.
There were signicant relationship between senior managements attitude and consideration for future consequences with
Green IS adoption (H1 and H2). All the path coefcients were
positive and signicant. As all of the respondents in the study were
in managerial positions, they were able to include their sentiment
into the policies of their rms. They were aware of the issues of
global warming and adopted practices that would be environmentally friendly and sustainable. There was a positive relationship between coercive pressure and Green IS adoption (H3b). This
agreed with those obtained by Liang et al., Chen et al., and Butler.
When the government enforced tighter regulations and monitoring activities, more rms adopted Green IS technologies and
practices.
Moreover, rms had to adopt Green IS when their suppliers and
customers put pressure on them to do so (non-compliance could
lead to nancial loss). Mimetic pressure however, did not have any
signicant relationship (B = 0.07, t = 0.78) with Green IS adoption,
thus H3b was not supported. The perceived success of the rms
competitors, suppliers and customers do not inuence their
attitude toward Green IS adoption. This could be because Green
IS investments are a relatively recent phenomenon and thus
frequency based mimetic pressure is rare and thus less likely to
inuence senior management attitude and few companies measure
and publicize Green IS performance. This might change when more
companies adopt Green IS and early adopters demonstrate and
announce a favorable outcome. Although the nding about the
inuence of mimetic pressure is unexpected, it is in line with
previous research in Internet banking [22] and VoIP adoption [1].
The results suggest Green IS adoption contributes positively to
environmental performance. However, the type of Green IS adopted
appears to inuence the environmental value that organizations
harness experience. Organizations differ in their propensity and
ability to deploy IS resources and embed it in their ecological
competency. While short term orientation focuses on using IS for
pollution prevention, a strategic orientation focuses on using IS for
product stewardship and sustainable development.
Carbone and Moatti argue companies will primarily focus on
short-term benets and establish adaptive processes to regulations. The relationship between Green IS adoption and strategic
orientation and environmental performance is signicant and
positive. Surprisingly, there is no signicant relationship between
the short-term oriented Green IS adoption and environmental
performance of the rm.

Businesses are under pressure from customers, competitors,


regulators and society to implement sustainable business practices. Hence, balancing economic and environmental performance
is a strategic issue. Managers can draw upon our framework in
assessing conditions for successful adoption of Green IS by their
rms and its business value. Coming in the wake of climate change,
this study is both relevant and timely.
We need better understanding of the behavior of people, social
groups and organizations in order to design effective intervention
strategies to accelerate Green IS adoption.
Coercive pressure from the policy makers is important because
business incentives (mimetic pressure) are lacking. We found that
only long term Green IS adoption (those practices that ensure
environmental sustainability) was positively related to environmental performance, indicating that companies are taking steps to
be more environmentally friendly.

5.1. Research implications


On the theoretical front, Devaraj et al. and Melville highlighted
the role of individual differences and personality in technology
acceptance models. Personality has seldom been studied in the
past two decades. We made an original contribution in dening
and validating a model for Green IS adoption. Our results show that
coercive pressure inuences the attitude toward Green IS adoption
while mimetic pressure does not. In addition, there is a signicant
relationship between Green IS adoption and attitude and consideration of future consequences.
Our model not only helps to understand the antecedents to
Green IS adoption but also the outcomes of its adoption; it also
shows that institutional forces (macro factors) contribute to
the formation of managerial psychic states and how this leads
to action.

6. Conclusion
Our study focused on rms in Malaysia. Although our studys
model may be applicable to rms in other regions, we cannot assert
that the results would be similar. The study collected data at one
point in time, thus the possibility of endogeneity cannot be
ignored. Despite these limitations, however, the study makes
several contributions.
Acknowledgements
The authors convey their appreciation to the Ministry of Higher
Education Malaysia for funding the research. The authors also
express their deep gratitude to Professor John Edwards from the
Operation and Information Management Group of Aston University for his enlightening comments and mentorship.
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Roya Gholami is a senior lecturer in Operations and
Information Management Group, Aston Business
School, Birmingham, UK. Her current research interests
are IT Value, Green IT/IS, Healthcare IT and IT Adoption.
She has published in IEEE Transactions on Engineering
Management, Information & Management, Journal of
Global Information Management, World Economy, Technovation, Production Planning and Control and Journal
of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, Information
Resource Management Journal.

Ainin Binti Sulaiman is a professor of Information


Systems in the Department of Operation and Management Information System, Faculty of Business and
Accountancy, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Her
current research interests include Technology Management, Technology Adoption and Digital Divide. She has
published her research ndings in several journals in
Information Systems and Operations Management disciplines.

T. Ramayah is an associate professor and the Head of


Department for Operations Management Section at the
School of Management, USM, Malaysia. His current
research interest is in the area of technology management and adoption in business and education. He has
published in several journals such as Information
Development, Asian Academy of Management Journal,
WSEAS Transactions on Information Science & Applications, International Journal of Learning, The International
Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management,
Asian Journal of Information Technology, International
Journal of Services and Technology Management, International Journal of Business Information Systems, Journal of
Project Management and Management Research News. His publications are also
forthcoming in the International Journal of Information and Operations Management
Education, International Journal of Services and Operations Management, Engineering,
Construction and Architectural Management and North American Journal of
Psychology.
Alemayehu Molla is currently an associate professor of
IS, and Convener of the Green IT Research Cluster
(http://greenit.bf.rmit.edu.au) at the School of Business
Information Technology and Logistics, RMIT University,
Melbourne, Austrialia. His publications appeared in
top-tier information systems (European Journal of
Information Systems, Information & Management and
The Information Society), e-business (The International
Journal of E-commerce, Journal of E-commerce Research,
Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations) and
development informatics (Internet Research, IT and
International Development, IT for Development) journals.