The important role of change management in environmental management system implementation

Shannon K. Ronnenberg, Mary E. Graham, Farzad Mahmoodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose: There is increasing concern about the environmental aspects of business and production processes, and many companies have chosen to implement environmental management systems (EMSs). The purpose of this paper is to examine whether change management efforts improve the perceived success of EMS implementation. Design/methodology/approach: The paper analyzes empirical survey data using hierarchical regression analyses with a sample of mid-level engineers and managers in manufacturing facilities. Findings: Change management efforts appear to enhance the perceived environmental performance of manufacturing establishments, primarily driven by top management support for EMS implementation and efforts to institutionalize the EMS. Research limitations/implications: Results are generalizable to large manufacturing facilities implementing EMSs. Results should be replicated with a larger sample and using measures of actual environmental performance. Practical implications: Change management techniques can enhance the environmental performance outcomes of EMS implementations. Originality/value: Change management concepts have been neglected in examinations of EMS implementation outcomes, and they may help explain mixed findings on EMS success to date. The findings suggest that change management efforts can enhance the value of firms' EMS implementations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-647
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Environmental management
  • Production processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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