Green Practice Motivators and Performance in SMEs: A Qualitative Comparative Anaysis

Lilia Rekik, Francois Bergeron


Green practices are necessary to fight global warming and save scarce resources. SMEs, which represent more than 90% of organizations, play a critical role in this endeavor. This research uses a qualitative comparative analysis, based on Boolean mathematics, to explore SMEs’ motivation to implement green practices and inquire about the resulting performance. This research model is based on Porter’s Value Chain and Triandis’ Theory of Reasoned Action. Fifteen (15) SMEs from three countries (Canada, Tunisia and Morocco) where interviewed for the research. Various groupings of SMEs’ motivators associated with a high level of green practices were found. The grouping profiles involved the organizational culture, expected consequences, facilitating conditions, and socioeconomic factors. Implementing green practices was found to be beneficial to SMEs both in terms of financial and environmental performance. The specific green practices characterizing high financial performing SMEs varied among firms; the grouping profiles involved the inventory practices, waste treatment and disposal and inbound logistics. Green practices characterizing high environmental performing firms gathered in profiles based on the operations, waste treatment and R&D. No unique causal condition was found for green practice motivators but the culture revealed to be a sufficient condition for one of the green practice configurations, while inventory practices, operations, waste treatment and R&D appeared to be sufficient for specific configurations of high performing SMEs.

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