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An Empirical Investigation on the Impacts of the Adoption of Green Hrm in the Agricultural Industry

Farheen Javed*

National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore, Multan Campus, Pakistan

Sadia Cheema

National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore, Multan Campus, Pakistan

*Corresponding Author:
Farheen Javed
National College of Business Administration and Economics
Lahore, Multan Campus, Pakistan
Tel: 0332-9999406

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The green human resources management (Green HRM) developed from companies engaging in practices that are concerned about environmental conservation and maintaining sustainable ecological balance. It includes all the activities that are geared towards helping an organization carry out its goals for environmental management to reduce carbon footprints in areas that concern the employment of employees, their training and compensation. Green HRM plays a useful role in supporting environment and agricultural related issues by following and adopting green HR practices and policies. There is a great deal of increase in the adoption of sustainable agricultural systems by the agricultural industry. Literature has highlighted the importance of the adoption of the sustainable agricultural systems as a key objective of the agricultural sector thus making it very significant to identify with the support of green HRM practices. In most parts of the world today, there are ongoing debates and uncertaintiesthat are associated with how green management principles can be effectively implemented in a workforce in an organization. Research methodology is based on quantitative research and primary data was collected. The results was calculated by SPSS 24 , different tests were applied to measure reliability and validity, to analyze the variables simple linear regression, one way repeated measures ANVOA and Paired- Samples t Test were applied. This research identified the various ways that green HRM practices are helping in improving agriculture now and in the future. The key finding of this research was that there is very little understanding of GHRM in Pakistan, therefore more effect manners should be applied to collect appropriate data and learning employee behavior towards change can make a major difference in this field.


Green HRM (Green Human Resource Management); HR Practices (Human Resource Practices); Agriculture; Organizational Outcome; Training and Development; Recruitment


Currently, the existence of the green concept in organizations has become a norm in many businesses [1]. With globalization and industrialization coupled with the increase in human population, there are concerns on the pressure put on natural resources like land, water, minerals, and even air [2]. The exploitation of natural resources has led to an increase in green house emission, global warming, and the depletion of the ozone layer. It is against this background that there is a growing need for businesses in all sectors to integrate environmental management with human resources into what is called the Green HRM. Green HRM fosters initiatives that are eco-friendly, and those that result in sustainable development through reduction of carbon footprint, better farming practices, and proper waste disposal [3]. This research will identify the various ways that green HRM practices are helping in improving agriculture now and in the future.

Agriculture is the backbone of many economies in the world especially in the developing nations. However, poor farming methods and natural resource exploitation have taken us to an extent where the survival of human beings is threatened by factors such as global warming and climate change. These concerns have led the adoption of green HRM to better manage and guide businesses and employees to adopt better practices that conserve both the environment and enhance sustainable development. Research on HRM has mainly focused on other areas and very little literature has been included that appertains to agriculture. This has led the researcher to want to better understand the influence that HRM has on this sector.

The objectives of this research focused on:

1. To examine the impacts of the adoption of the green HRM on the current and future agricultural practices,

2. To Study the major advantages of Green HRM adoption on the agricultural industry,

3. To analyze the increased need for HRM skills in agricultural practices including selection, recruitment and safety and health implementation,

4. To discover the potential and actual challenges that green HRM faces.

The research questions below present the background of the adoption of the green HRM and the competitive advantage it has for solving the problem of agricultural waste pollution. The research questions appertaining to this research are:

RQ1: What influence does the green HRM has on better agricultural Performance?

RQ2: What measures can be taken to enhance the adoption of green HRM by all agricultural businesses?

RQ3: How significantly Green HRM can influence the organizational outcome?

The research objectives direct the study that is centered on the research questions mentioned above. Research hypothesis are the unproven statements that the researcher test or the problems that the researcher intends to solve.

The hypothesis stated below is crucial in the research study.

H1: Green HRM is positively associated with HR practices.

H2: Green HRM is positively associated with organizational outcome.

H3: HR practices mediate the relationship of Green HRM and organizational outcome.

Literature Review

This is the management of the personnel or the human resources in the society; it is not specifically limited to an organization. It is concerned with the selection, recruitment, training, appraisal, compensation, and the general welfare of the workforce in all departments [4]. According to Sathyapriya [5] the green Human resources Management (Green HRM), developed from companies engaging in practices that are concerned about environmental conservation and maintaining sustainable ecological balance. It includes all the activities that are geared towards helping an organization carry out its goals for environmental management to reduce carbon footprints in areas that concern the employment of employees, their training and compensation [4]. Green HRM plays a useful role in supporting environment and agricultural related issues by following and adopting green HR practices and policies.

Going green is an all-inclusive procedure whereby an organizations primary objective is to reduce the costs, use energy well, and avoid poor waste disposals [6]. Green human resource is positively correlated to employee’s cooperation to promote practices that are in line with conservation. For a company to sustain green concept, in any organization, there is need to employ workers with an interest in eco-friendly matters and as such, the organization should select and recruit the workers keenly [7]. Correa states that many organizations that have embraced the use of green HRM have gained a lot of benefits in different ways. There is also a noted increase in the employee’s self-confidence and attitude towards their day-to-day work. According to Delmas and Pekovic [8], the adoption of green HRM principles and guidelines improves organizations profit margins by decreasing their negative effects on the environment and improving their work rate. It is important to note that human resource practices is an important way to monitor performance when compared to other structures of employee remuneration where each and every employee receives the same amount of salary regardless of their performance level [9]. The green HRM method establishes better ways of payment that reduces money wastage in the company.

Cia and Hussain [10] states that organizations that have adopted the use of green HRM guidelines and policies, have a lot of praise for the importance of using green employment. According to Jackson and Seo [11] the recruitment process of every organization should encourage and promote efficacy in green management through letting the new recruits know of the green culture of the company that they are getting into. According to Amin [12], human resources management plays a crucial role in the agricultural sector, which is influenced more by the social factors rather than the economic factors. The growth in the agricultural sector is seen as one of the most important sources of economic growth particularly in the developing nations. One of the most important determinants of the success of the agricultural sector is the productivity of the employees’ [13]. Today, HRM has been hailed as a positive influence on the general success of the agricultural sector [12]. The reason why there is little research in the agricultural sector could be that the practices that are adopted for large companies do not necessarily work in the smaller agricultural companies [14].

The role of HRM in the agricultural sector is selecting, recruiting, and managing and maintaining of the workforce. The workforce in the agricultural sector is diverse from the specialized experts, skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and even the unskilled. The recruitment and selection process of the company should be based on its long-term goals [4]. The organizational and environmental culture of a company should be considered during the recruitment process. In a study conducted by Odell [15], prospective employees take into consideration the environmental qualifications of a company before they can decide to take a job. Further, the study also showed that employees prefer working for green companies.

Employee training and development programs within the green HRM include the environmental and social issues at all the levels, from the technical health and the safety considerations that are geared towards the achievement of sustainable agricultural [16]. Training and development should focus on the developing proficiencies for different functions and for the distinct levels of seniority. Training is an integral way of managing waste in terms of both reduction and prevention and it mainly occurs through the training of employees to produce a waste analysis of the areas of work. This allows ease of monitoring and evaluation to determine which areas of the agricultural industry require change [5]. In the agricultural industry, job rotation is crucial, it reduces work monotony and enhances skills and creates an all-round person who can work in any department should there be need to do so. In areas where employees are trained to monitor waste and reduce, the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment are reducing [17]. Monetary and non-monetary rewards are very powerful tools for supporting employees in any organization. The pay should be linked to attainment of the environmental goals and the relevant skills. According to EERE information center [18], Creation of a reward system for waste reduction practices is known to be beneficial to organization.

In order to promote an effective green corporate culture in the agricultural sector, it is important that the organization promote management and technical skills among the employees of the organization. According to Guest et al. [19], it creates paramount that effective human resource person to adopt a variety of green processes and practices in their different functions such as human capital recruitment, training, and performance management, which will in the long run reduce the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. “Pro- green” employees understand the essence of adopting of green farming methods such as embracing organic farming, which reduces the use of pesticides and consequently reduces greenhouse emissions that are associated with it [20]. With green HRM, better farming techniques such as water and energy conservation are implemented. This reduces the strain on resources and helps to conserve them.

The pervious study names as resource-based theory (RBT) has emphasize on the identification of HR practices to build strong source of HR which aids to induce competitive edge for the firm which helps to improve organizational outcome. Additionally this theory adds on a rational link between human resources practices and the application of strategies that eventually enhance the firm performance. Furthermore, the implementation of HRM practices plays critical part for an organization to achieve better results. Particularly, the regular exercise of the human resource practice such a training sections to enhance human capital tends to improve the overall knowledge skills of the firm which is difficult to replace. In a business setting, human resource practices acts as a mediator in the relationship of human resource management and organizational outcome [21]. An HR practice which includes enhancing the work ability, create opportunities and encourage motivational environment in the firm are more likely to insinuate management support. Previous studies suggested that an HR practices creates a positive insight in the firm which gradually leads to organizational commitment [22]. HR practices are consider as a primary source which helps to impact and structure skills and motives of the employees to performance their task effectives; thus to achieve organizational goals [23].

Theoretical Framework and Green HRM Models

Based on the literature, it is quite evident that green HRM practices are mainly used to utilize the human potential in the handling of the green management issues in any given organization. This paper thus tries to rely on the best practices of GHRM that can bring out the best of the HR department and the organization in a sustainable manner. The best models of GHRM includes; recruitment, selection, training and development, performance appraisal and the compensation. The Figure 1 below indicates that HRM best practices are assumed to influence the performance of a firm positively.


Figure 1: Indicating that HRM best practices are assumed to influence the performance of a firm positively.

Research Methodology

Research Design

The research methodology for this research has highlighted the methods used to collect the data and further different analyses are applied to examine the significance and advantages of green HRM adoption in the industry of agriculture. This methodology explained the procedures that the researchers used to explain, describe, and predict this phenomenon. The sole focus of this study was on analyzing the essential factors of green HRM that has significant influence on the employee performance in the agricultural sector. Seven Likert scale was used to examine the practices of green HRM and its positive impact on the employee’s performance. Data collection was done through the use of primary data. The questionnaire was used in this study to mainly evaluate the competitive advantage of the green HRM practices. This study seeks to analyze the numerous ways that green HRM practices can contribute to enhance agriculture practices now and in the future. The researchers applied quantitative research to conduct primary research.

Quantitative research is basically a method of conducting research where a researcher seeks to explain a certain occurrence or phenomena by using numerical data that is analyzed using quantitative methods. Although not entirely relying on numeric data, the present study will use a five point Likert scale to collect data through questionnaires. The five point Likert scale requires respondents to rank their opinion or viewed on a scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The five point Likert scale will enable the researcher to convert qualitative data such as feelings and opinions into quantitative data for mathematical analysis.

Data Collection Method

Primary data is a method of collecting data that generates from the substantial source. There are typically three manners in this method to obtain the data through interviews, questionnaire surveys and observations. According to Cresswel [24], for the practical implementations the primary data holds crucial importance for the research. This study used questionnaires to gather primary data. The items for questionnaire was adopted from different studies [25,26]. This study was carried out on agriculture industry of Lodhran district, Pakistan. It consisted of 21 items about the greening impact of the various practices and aspects of the human resource. 300 questionnaires were distributed for this study from which 263 questionnaires were used.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity analysis of the research is crucial to examine the credibility of the study. Credibility and reliability are two elements that helps to maintain research accuracy. The reliability of a study ensures the persistence of the research design and analysis [27]. Furthermore to emphasize on the reliability of a study, Yin recommends that reliability aids to maintain the chain of evidence. Therefore reliability analysis was applied in this study to analysis the credibility of this research. The following Table 1 shows the results for reliability analysis.

Table 1: Reliability Statistics.

  Reliability Statistics
Construct Cronbach's Alpha Cronbach's Alpha Based on Standardized Items N of Items
Green HRM 0.754 0.834 15
Selection 0.643 0.653 3
Recruitment 0.787 0.838 3
Training and Development 0.608 0.633 3
Performance Appraisal 0.617 0.650 3
Compensation 0.795 0.803 3
HR practices 0.848 0.898 3
Organizational Outcome 0.740 0.746 3

In this Table 1, Reliability statistics value of Cronbach’s Alpha for HR practices is highest at .848 that represents good reliability. The Cronbach’s Alpha for Green HRM and organizational outcome is 0.754 and 0.740 respectively which indicates positive reliability. The Cronbach’s Alpha for all the five factors selection, recruitment, T and D, performance appraisal and compensation were 0.643, 0.787, 0.608, 0.617 and 0.795 respectively that shows positive reliability; 21 items were measured that supported positive values for this study.


Validity is described as the assessment of how true the data is to the phenomenon of interest. During the interviews, the participants will be encouraged to express their perceptions through an environment of openness, thus providing a true representation of the study topic [27].

The Table 2 represents results for validity which is calculated by applying Pearson correlation. The Pearson correlation coefficient shows positive relationship between green HRM and HR outcome (r (263)=0.857, p<0.01). This result indicates the significant linear relationship between the variables and tends to increase green HRM with HR outcome more strength [28]. Similarly, organizational outcome shows the positive relationship with green HRM at (r (263)=0.723, p<0.01). Contrary, the strongest positive relationship was revealed between organizational outcome and HR outcome (r (263)=.839, p<0.01). Thus the overall result shows positive correlations among the variable.

Table 2: Pearson Correlation.

  Green HRM HR Outcome Organizational Outcome
Green HRM Pearson Correlation 1 0.857** 0.723**
Sig. (2-tailed)   0.000 0.000
N 263 263 263
HR Outcome Pearson Correlation 0.857** 1 0.839**
Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000   0.000
N 263 263 263
Organizational Outcome Pearson Correlation 0.723** 0.839** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 0.000  
N 263 263 263

Demographic Variables: (Respondent Profile)

The demographic statistics for demographic variables for male profile has indicated that 83.7% respondents were male and female respondents were 16.3%. The age distribution indicated that the highest response was received from 31-40 age groups whereas 51-60 age groups have the lowest response rate at 5.3%. Furthermore, the education profile has recorded maximum response from intermediate at 83.7% whereas minimum response was recorded at 2%. Lastly, the demographic statistics results have shown for employment-status of this research (Table 3). The maximum response was received from labors at 72.6% whereas minimum response was recorded from others profile at 2% only. The total respondents for this study were 263.

Table 3: Demographic.

    Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative
Gender Male 220 83.7 83.7 83.7
  Female 43 16.3 16.3 100.0
  Total 263 100.0 100.0  
Age 21-30 59 22.4 22.4 22.4
  31-40 136 51.7 51.7 74.1
  41-50 54 20.5 20.5 94.7
  51-60 14 5.3 5.3 100.0
Education Metric 41 15.6 15.6 15.6
  Intermediate 220 83.7 83.7 99.2
  Bachelors 2 .8 .8 100.0
  Total 263 100.0 100.0  
Employment-status Farmers 57 21.7 21.7 21.7
  Labors 191 72.6 72.6 94.3
  Managers 13 4.9 4.9 99.2
  Others 2 .8 .8 100.0
  Total 263 100.0 100.0  

Simple Linear Regression Analysis

The linear regression analysis was applied to analysis the effect of mediator between the relationship of green HRM and HR practices. The results for it is shown in the Table 4.

Table 4: Simple Linear Regression.

Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 3.096 0.541   5.720 0.000
Green HRM 0.149 0.009 0.723 16.918 0.000
2 (Constant) 4.693 0.446   10.526 0.000
Green HRM 0.003 0.013 0.015 0.233 0.000
HR Practices 0.598 0.047 0.826 12.596 0.000

In the results, the significant change was found in the beta coefficient values. The value of beta coefficient in model 1 was 0.723 without the mediator and in model 2 with the mediator the values for beta coefficient decreased to 0.015 that shows partial mediation exits in the relationship. Furthermore, it showed significance level of 0.000 in model 1 and 2 which represent strong linear regression (Table 5). Hence, this research indicates that HR practices have a positive mediator impact in the relationship of green HRM and organizational outcome.

Table 5: One Way Repeated Measures ANOVA.

Tests of Within-Subjects Effects
Measure: MEASURE_1
Source Type III Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
GHRM Sphericity Assumed 104.340 5 20.868 15.720 0.000
Greenhouse-Geisser 104.340 2.825 36.932 15.720 0.000
Huynh-Feldt 104.340 2.859 36.493 15.720 0.000
Lower-bound 104.340 1.000 104.340 15.720 0.000
Error (GHRM) Sphericity Assumed 1738.994 1,310 1.327    
Greenhouse-Geisser 1738.994 740.193 2.349    
Huynh-Feldt 1738.994 749.096 2.321    
Lower-bound 1738.994 262.000 6.637    

A one way repeated measures ANOVA was applied to compare the green human resource management levels to analyze the effects of selection, recruitment, T and D, performance and compensation on the organizational outcome (Table 6). A significant impact was shown (F (5, 1310)=15.720, p<0.001).

Table 6: Paired-Samples t Test.

Paired Samples Statistics
  Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 Green_HRM 32.2700 263 2.41129 0.18702
HR_practices 51.4030 263 3.97293 0.20664
Pair 2 Green_HRM 32.2700 263 2.41129 0.18702
organization_OC 62.2243 263 4.02220 0.36303
Pair 3 HR_practices 51.4030 263 3.97293 0.20664
organization_OC 62.2243 263 4.02220 0.36303

Paired-Samples t Test

The follow up protected t test showed the significant effect that increased from Green HRM (M=32.27, sd=2.41) to HR practices (M=51.40, sd=3.97) and again from Green HRM to organizational outcome (M=62.23, sd=4.02) (Table 7). Furthermore, the significance effect increased again from HR practices to organizational outcome positively.

Table 7: Paired-Samples t Test.

Paired Samples Test
  Paired Differences t df Sig.
  Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 Green_HRM - HR_practices 49.13308 3.83254 0.23632 48.66774 49.59842 207.905 262 0.000
Pair 2 Green_HRM - organization_OC 50.17871 4.29210 0.26466 48.65757 49.69984 185.817 262 0.000
Pair 3 HR_practices - organization_OC 56.54563 0.78500 0.04841 -0.04969 0.14094 0.943 262 0.000

To conduct the protected paired sample t test, there was compared green human resource management to HR practices and green human resource management to organizational outcome and again the effect of human resource practices to organizational outcome results significantly. Due to the three tests, there was applied inflating type 1 error rate and was used a significance level of 0.017 (0.05/3) rather than 0.05. In these three comparisons, each result reported a significance level of less than 0.017. Thus, the results concluded the improvement from green human resource practices to organizational outcome positively.

Conclusion and Limitation

The results on the base of selection, recruitment, T and D, performance appraisal and compensation showed that these variables are positively associated with organization outcome. It examined the effect of the five levels of independent variable on organizational outcome which is dependent variable and HR practices as a mediator, the primary research was conducted with empirical data from agriculture industry of Lodhran District, Pakistan. The impact of human resource practices was taken as a mediator between the relationship of green HRM and organizational outcome. The result identified that HR practices acts as strong mediators as H2. The demographic variables study indicated that more males were involved in the respondent list as compare to female respondents. In the conclusion, the study suggested that with the increase in implementations of green HRM there are higher chances of increased organizational outcomes. There is a crucial need to increase the Green HRM practices to develop improved organizational performance and its practices are considered to be beneficial for firm and society.

However, few hurdles were discover while gathering questionnaires from the respondents in agriculture industry as the literacy rate among farmers and labors were significantly low. For future research other ways could be applied to collect primary data such as interviews or surveys. The research study used literature review of previous researches from around the world. However, there is little study that has been undertaken in the agricultural sector and as such it is dwell on a limited number of sources. The researchers discover that GHRM can be studied with be employee behavioral towards change i.e. behavioral change, change management and further the study can be made on corporate social responsibility to improve the company image and develop the deep rooted concept of suitable environment among employees.


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