This research was a pioneering study that examined the relationship between green intellectual capital and green human resource management. A quantitative research approach using a mail survey was employed to get insights from 112 large manufacturing firms in Malaysia. Partial Least Squares Regression Analysis was employed to examine the proposed relationship. The results indicated that green human capital and green relational capital influenced green human resource management. Surprisingly, green structural capital was not significantly related to green human resource management. As revealed by searches of ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus, no similar work has tested a similar framework based on evidence from all over the world.
The notion of being green has gained attention from both scholars and industry practitioners over the past few decades. In academic circles, research has grown steadily from a general deliberation on green business into “greening” the functional areas within an organization that include green purchasing (Zhang, Li, Cao & Huang, 2018), green supply chain management (Kazancoglu, Kazancoglu, & Sanak, 2018; Zaid, Jaaron, & Bon, 2018), green innovation (Li, Zhao, Zhang, Chen, & Cao, 2018), green finance (Ng, 2018), green management (Mustapha, Abdul Manan, & Wan Alwi, 2018), green information technologies (Przychodzen, Gomez-Bezares, & Przychodzen, 2018), and green human resource management (HRM) (Renwick, Redman, & Maguire, 2013; Zaid et al., 2018). Businesses operate in a highly competitive global economy in which they must not only be efficient and deliver value, but also must be responsible, and this includes responsibility towards the environment. The intensification of environmental concerns around the globe has led companies to adopt environmental practices at an increasing rate; and such adoptions can benefit companies becoming “green and competitive”(Carmona-Moreno, Cespedes-Lorente, & Martinez-del-Rio, 2012; El-Kassar & Singh, 2018; Jabbour, Freitas, Soubihia, Gunasekaran, & Jabbour, 2015). In the pursuit of this green agenda, scholars (e.g., Renwick et al., 2013) have argued that human resource management (HRM) plays an important role. Hence, embedding green practices within HRM functions could enhance the likelihood of a firm’s sustainability. In an emerging economy such as Malaysia, the need for a highly efficient workforce with a focus on environmental sustainability is paramount. Emerging economies have become the most important economies in recent years because of the high demand for resources, including human resources, which are being used to boost their gross domestic products (GDP). Researchers have reached a consensus that emerging markets are a main destination for organizations from varying industries around the world (Gaur, Kumar, & Singh, 2014; Popli, Akbar, Kumar, & Gaur, 2016, 2017; Singh, Pattnaik, Gaur, & Ketencioglu, 2017; Singh, 2018a). This is because of the large pool of talents and resources available in these regions. Thus, it is necessary to know more about green HRM in Malaysia because, according to Renwick et al. (2013), the green HRM literature is largely Western However, given the importance of the development of Asian economies, this is an important gap for future studies to reduce.