Making SENS:exploring the antecedents and impact of store environmental stewardship climate


Retailers increasingly recognize that environmental responsibility is a strategic imperative. However, little research has investigated or identified the factors that facilitate the successful implementation of environmentally responsible strategies across a network of customer-facing sales units (stores). We propose that a store manager’s ability to lead by example facilitates this process by fostering a supportive climate for store environmental stewardship (SENS-climate). By examining the influence of store managers’ actions on sales associates’ perceptions of the SENS-climate, as well as the subsequent impact on their performance—measured by margins, as well as sales of green and regular products—this study demonstrates that store managers can foster a SENS-climate by articulating their prioritization of environmental responsibility in their operational decisions. These positive effects are sustained by relational factors, such as the moderating effect of the store manager–sales associate dyadic tenure. In contrast, when store managers display high variability in their environmental orientation, it hinders the development of SENS-climate perceptions among sales associates. If sales associates perceive an enabling SENS-climate, they achieve higher margins and more green but fewer regular sales.

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Divisions: Aston Business School
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with Open Access at This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons At tribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Electronic supplementary material: doi:10.1007/s11747-015-0446-5.
Uncontrolled Keywords: articulation,environmental stewardship,green products,responsibility,store climate,sustainability,Business and International Management,Economics and Econometrics,Marketing
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-07
Published Online Date: 2015-06-16
Accepted Date: 2015-04-22
Authors: Hensen, Niek
Keeling, Debbie I.
de Ruyter, Ko
Wetzels, Martin
de Jong, Ad ( 0000-0002-3016-5354)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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