Green marketing practices, corporate image, organizational characteristics and performance of ISO 9000 and 14000 certified organizations in Kenya
In the past marketing theory ignored the influence of the biophysical environment on marketing. Indeed the natural environment first became a modern research problem in business in 1962 but it was not until 1970s when high degree of interest in the environment by marketers was witnessed. By the end of 1 ~Os one of the new strategic moves that were adopted by some businesses was the integration of environmental marketing also known as green marketing in strategic planning process. In furtherance of the research interest in the area of green marketing this study sought to investigate green marketing practices, corporate image, organizational characteristics and performance of Kenyan organizations that are ISO 9000 and 14000 series certified. Although there is a growing body of evidence showing relationships between green marketing practices, corporate image, organizational characteristics and performance little research or no research exists in Africa particularly Kenya. This research was aimed at contributing to knowledge specifically in area of green marketing which is an emerging discipline globally. The study objectives were to: determine the relationship between green marketing practices and performance; examine the relationship between green marketing practices and corporate image; assess the relationship between organizational characteristics and performance; determine the relationship between corporate image and performance; to investigate the influence of organizational characteristics on the relationship between corporate image and performance; determine whether the relationship between green marketing practices and performance is mediated by corporate image; and determine the joint effect of green marketing practices, corporate image and organizational characteristics on performance. In order to realize the objectives of the study a descriptive census survey was employed. The study population comprised 120 organizations that were ISO 9000 and 14000 series certified at the time of the study. Primary data was collected using semistructured questionnaires. The response rate was 67.5%. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics mainly mean score, and percentages; Pearson correlation coefficient; partial correlation; linear and multiple regression analysis. The study results are summarized here below;- Green marketing practices in general influence performance. In relation to individual measures of performance green marketing practices have statistically significant effect on innovativeness, effectiveness, competitive advantage, and efficiency but do not influence sales turnover, market share and gross profit. In addition the relevant results revealed that green marketing practices do not improve corporate image and the latter on its own does not influence performance. Furthermore, the relationship between green marketing practices and performance was not mediated by corporate image this was a result of absence of direct relationship between green Il)arketingp!actices and corporate image as well as between corporate image and performance. However, corporate image strengthened the relationship and explanatory power of green marketing practices on performance though not statistically significant. Further the study results showed that organizational characteristics do not influence performance but moderate the relationship between corporate image and performance. Finally, the results showed that the joint effect of green marketing practices, corporate image, and organizational characteristic was greater than the effects of individual variables (independent, intervening and moderating) on performance. These results have made a contribution to the theory, policy and practice in relation to marketing in general and green marketing specifically. In particular the results have offered clarification into the relationship that exists between green marketing practices, corporate image, organizational characteristics and performance. The research was not without drawbacks. For instance the findings were based on the perceptions of internal publics. The researcher recommends that a similar study be done based on external customer publics.