University of Oulu

Li, W., Li, W., Seppänen, V., & Koivumäki, T. (2022). How and when does perceived greenwashing affect employees' job performance? Evidence from China. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 29( 5), 1722– 1735.

How and when does perceived greenwashing affect employees’ job performance? : evidence from China

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Author: Li, Wei1; Li, Weining1; Seppänen, Veikko2;
Organizations: 1School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
2Martti Ahtisaari Institute, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-18


Despite increasing interest in the implications of greenwashing, few studies have examined the underlying mechanism and contingency of how greenwashing affects employee outcomes. In this study, we develop a mediated moderation model to analyze the impact of perceived greenwashing on employee job performance (i.e., task performance and organizational citizenship behavior). Using a questionnaire survey of 400 employees in 20 Chinese companies, the results reveal that perceived greenwashing negatively affects job performance and that the relationship is mediated by organizational cynicism. Furthermore, employees’ green values strengthen the indirect negative relationship between perceived greenwashing practices and job performance through organizational cynicism. The study contributes to addressing the long-discussed problem of whether greenwashing pays vis-à-vis a human resource management perspective and micro-level approach. The findings indicate that a close cooperation between the human resources and corporate environmental responsibility management departments is required to achieve the sustainable development of businesses.

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Series: Corporate social-responsibility and environmental management
ISSN: 1535-3958
ISSN-E: 1535-3966
ISSN-L: 1535-3958
Volume: 29
Issue: 5
Pages: 1722 - 1735
DOI: 10.1002/csr.2321
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: Humanity and Social Science Program Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China, Grant/Award Number: 17YJA630044; National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant/Award Number: 71772068; Philosophy and Social Sciences Foundation for Colleges and Universities of Guangdong, Grant/Award Number: 2019GXJK240.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.