Original Research

South African small and medium-sized enterprise owners’ intention to implement an environmental management system

Fredrika (Miemie) W. Struwig, Riyaadh Lillah
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 9, No 1 | a104 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v9i1.104 | © 2017 Miemie Struwig | This work is licensed under Other
Submitted: 15 September 2016 | Published: 28 June 2017

About the author(s)

Fredrika (Miemie) W. Struwig, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Riyaadh Lillah, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Environmental problems present the most complex and important managerial challenges of the 21st century. Most businesses have responded to these environmental problems by adopting an environmental management system.

Aim: This article investigates South African small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners’ intentions to implement an environmental management system based on the theory of planned behaviour.

Setting: Although large businesses are clearly of interest with respect to their environmental management, especially given their prominence in many of the most environmentally impactful sectors, the relative neglect of the environmental management of SMEs is disconcerting, given their overall importance in most economies. In addition, very little research used the theory of planned behaviour to empirically test SME owners’ intentions, to implement an environmental management system.

Method: A quantitative survey was used to collect primary data from 326 SME owners by a structured questionnaire.

Results: Regression analysis results confirmed the influence of SME owners’ attitudes towards an environmental management system and pro-environmental norms on their intention to implement an environmental management system. Perceived behavioural control, however, did not significantly influence the SME owners’ intention to implement an environmental management system.

Conclusion: These findings provide valuable insights into the implementation of environmental management systems among South African SMEs. The theory of planned behaviour also seems to be an appropriate means to investigate the intentions of SMEs to implement an environmental management system.


Keywords

attitude; environmental management system; norms; perceived behavioural control; SME owners; Theory of Planned Behaviour

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