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Knowledge has been upheld as the key resource to create sustainable advantage in the strategic management field. In quest for sustainable performance, theorists in the environmental management domain advocate taking the learning route. However, the extant studies examined only the direct effect of environmental practices on a firm's competitiveness and performance and hence ignored the intervening learning processes. Framed within the Resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, the current inquiry investigated into resource inputs as determinants accounting for a firm's environmental knowledge integration, and competitive outcomes deriving out of such integration. While the RBV shed notable insights on the main effect of resources/capabilities on competitiveness that aims to justify environmental practices and related expenses from an economic perspective, the Resource Dependence Theory (RDT) introduced the intriguing notion that organizational strategies pertaining to sustainability may be determined by power dependency rather than by profits. The current inquiry extended the RBV by examining the moderating context of top-green-buyer initiated communications on the linkage between environmental practices (resource) and environmental knowledge integration (capability). By examining how resource-based, dynamic capabilities, and relational views work together to address the key concerns of the firm's customers as a major stakeholder and hence enhance its performance, and simultaneously studying direct, mediation and moderation effects among them, this study documents the combined effect of these factors in achieving international market performance. In short, this study makes a two-fold significant contribution to the strategic management literature by demonstrating the importance of firm-specific resources and relational capabilities in promoting firm performance.


HKIBS Working Paper Series 071-1314

Recommended Citation

Li, L. Y. E. (2014). Environmental practice and performance of Chinese exporter firms: How does environmental knowledge integration matter? (HKIBS Working Paper Series 071-1314). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:

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