• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 1 (2021)

Organizational Commitment and Engagement Practices from Applying Green Innovation to Organizational Structure: A Case of Thailand Heavy Industry

Organizational Commitment and Engagement Practices from Applying Green Innovation to Organizational Structure: A Case of Thailand Heavy Industry

Title: Organizational Commitment and Engagement Practices from Applying Green Innovation to Organizational Structure: A Case of Thailand Heavy Industry
Phaninee Naruetharadhol, Wutthiya A. Srisathan, Monpak Suganya, Jiranarin Jantasombut , Sasichay Prommeta , Chavis Ketkaew

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Cite this article as:
Naruetharadhol, P., Srisathan, W.A., Suganya, M., Jantasombut , J., Prommeta , S., Ketkaew, C., 2021. Organizational Commitment and Engagement Practices from Applying Green Innovation to Organizational Structure: A Case of Thailand Heavy Industry. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(1), pp. 22-32

Phaninee Naruetharadhol 1. Business Administration Division, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002 2. Expedite: Global Consulting Management Center, Khon Kaen University Int
Wutthiya A. Srisathan 1. Business Administration Division, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002 2. Expedite: Global Consulting Management Center, Khon Kaen University Int
Monpak Suganya Business Administration Division, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002
Jiranarin Jantasombut Business Administration Division, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002
Sasichay Prommeta Business Administration Division, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002
Chavis Ketkaew Expedite: Global Consulting Management Center, Khon Kaen University International College, 123 Mitrphap Rd., Khon Kaen, Thailand 40002
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Organizational Commitment and Engagement Practices from Applying Green Innovation to Organizational Structure: A Case of Thailand Heavy Industry

Green innovation has been valued as a mechanism to reduce environmental impacts, which can increase organizational commitment and engagement propensities for environmental sustainability. This paper aimed to understand: (1) how does green innovation recognition affect the organizational structure? and (2) how can organizational structure help most internal stakeholders commit and engage in the organization’s environmental objective? The data from 250 Thai heavy industrial organizations were  collected. The results showed that there were significant relationships among green innovation recognition, organizational structure, and organizations’ environmental commitment and engagement. Besides, the intermediary role of differentiation and integration showed a significant influence on commitment and engagement. Our paper suggests that policymakers and entrepreneurs should introduce green innovation to their organizations to heighten the level of environmental sustainability in their strategy and policy.

Green innovation; Organizational commitment; Organizational engagement; Organizational structure; Thailand


In the past two decades, most organizations have become more aware of environmental crises and anthropogenic activities impacting it. Green innovation is the practical models for leveraging and implementing innovative effects in the organizational analysis in terms of environmental aspects (Calza et al., 2017). Green innovation is an essential strategic catalyst for enacting structural changes and engages and commits organizations to understand sustainability, including the involvement of technological innovation in waste-recycling, pollution-prevention, and energy-saving (El-Kassar and Singh, 2019). Global warming and climate change are environmentally caused by economic and business activities, whether inside organizations or not (Patz et al., 2005), this requires sustainability to create alternative designs and stimulate innovation (Suwartha et al., 2017).

Green innovation at the organizational level has been widely recognized as an important means of endpoint ecological competition. The work of Yang et al. (2017) confirms that the environment can be improved by implementing green innovation into organizations. Moreover, green innovations help to improve organizational efficiency, competitiveness, and the green image of the organization by permitting them to have eco-friendly improvements in terms of products, processes, and managerial aspects (Yusuf et al., 2018). Armando’s (2016) empirical work found that a well-design organizational structure impacts a firm’s innovation output. Thus, if organizational structure decides to adopt and absorb innovation, the recognition of innovation is required (Naruetharadhol et al., 2020). As a result, we pose these key research questions to understand this phenomenon as follows: firstly, how does green innovation recognition affect the organizational structure?  Secondly, once that effect is delivered, how can the organizational structure deliver such recognition to commit and engage most internal stakeholders in the organization’s green objective?

From a theoretical standpoint, Rogers (2003) defines the innovation adoption process in stages, including recognition (i.e., individuals recognize the knowledge of innovation), consideration (i.e., individuals form an attitude towards the innovation), intention (i.e., individuals decide to adopt the innovation), adoption decision (i.e., individuals implement the innovation), and continuum of use (i.e., individuals continuously confirm the use of the innovation). Frambach and Schillewaert (2002) theoretically identify the innovation adoption process in two stages: initiation and implementation. In the initiation stage, the adoption process encompasses the awareness, consideration, and intention substages. Hence, this current research problem involves the awareness substage of the innovation adoption process, in which the concept of green innovation is recognized and introduced within organizations but not yet adopted.

There was only empirical evidence’s Damanpour and Gopalakrishnan (1998) to support the phenomenon of the organizational structure’s effect on innovation. This relationship between organizational structure and innovation is an attempt to explain the working styles that support and absorb innovations (Ali et al., 2018). Besides, Menguc and Auh (2010) found that the informal structure has a positive impact on radical and incremental product innovation capabilities. This indicates that if individuals’ personalities and professional requirements are informally authorized to design this professional behavior, it will increase the capabilities of innovations, necessitating different means of learning from inside and out. This stage of the innovation process represents the success of innovation or the innovation-adoption decision stage but is beyond the recognition stage.

Our knowledge gap exists in the commitment and engagement propensities from recognizing green innovation offered. Consequently, this current research focuses on the stage of recognition, which will most likely allow them to understand its essence gradually. In doing so, when an organization realizes environmental issues, it becomes more complex for individuals in different specialised departments to correspond to one another. This creates pressure for integrative mechanisms such as top management group to ensure that those in charge of distinct functions that are aware of environmental issues from their activities. Organizational structure, therefore, has an intermediary role to link green innovation recognition with commitment and engagement.

    As a result, it is assumed that when the organization recognizes or introduces green innovation, this may induce a positive change in the organizational structure. The work difference in structure matters to coordinate their work activities among functional departments, this relates to organizational differentiation and integration. What is more, if organizational structure may change due to the recognition of green innovation, it is possible to increase organizational commitment towards environmental goals since it enables internal stakeholders (especially employees) to be satisfied with the organization’s green concerns. Kim and Shin (2019) found that the willingness to accept the organization's green initiatives or goals is revealed in the organizational structure, wherein the psychologically empowering process of transformational leadership behaviors is effectively induced. Concurrently, the organizational structure will also affect organizational engagement; Funminiyi (2018) founds that a decentralized structure of control tends to support employee productivity and increase employee performance. Thus, when the management motivates employees to become aware of the green innovation concept, this phenomenon will give them either a positive or negative attitude towards the organization. It creates a platform where employees can be fully engaged, which is what organizations want: higher performance from employees. Organizations also need to encourage the strength of organizational attachment toward environmental sustainability or the surrounding environment — this refers to organizational commitment to the environment. While environmental problems become aware, organizations need to change their behaviors to involve sustainability — this refers to organizational engagement in environment. Taking all the above into account, we form hypotheses to answer those questions (see Figure 1).


This research aimed to understand the influence of green innovation recognition to foster organizations’ environmental commitment and engagement, wherein organizational structure plays an intermediary role in achieving them. Our contribution to the literature on green innovation is twofold. First, we highlight the role of green innovation recognition — that is, the recognition to make a change at the process of internal collaboration. Second, we find that the relationships between organizational structure, engagement, and commitment make sense. But once green innovation is introduced although the results are significant; it does not guarantee that the levels of engagement and commitment will increase. However, most organizations in Thailand's heavy industry may not follow environmental regulations to provide transparent and well-structured practices for assessing green innovation opportunities.

        Future research can focus on a long-term study discussing the variable change of green innovation and organizational structure in the firm’s heavy industry. But before that, it is encouraged to reconfirm the possible relationship between green innovation recognition and organizational structure. The adoption of green innovation may need to test in the research framework. Moreover, other organizations' features, such as organizational design and organizational culture, will affect organizational commitment and organizational engagement. So, we suggest that future research continue discussions concerning these organizational design and organizational culture features of other organizations, thereby affecting the results in the research framework. Essentially, more research from a large sample will help confirm our findings. Further investigation should interrogate the role of organizational culture in the relationship between green innovation and organizational structure in a developing country. In particular, culture may change the supportive climate of green innovation in the firm, i.e., how that culture provides the extent to which firms can achieve environmental commitment. Furthermore, future studies should investigate the effects of other sub-dimensions (e.g., green marketing innovation) of green innovation absorption to engage in job-related attitudes and behaviors.


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