María Dolores López-Gamero, Enrique Claver-Cortés and José Francisco Molina-Azorín, all of University of Alicante, published “Environmental Perception, Management, and Competitive Opportunity in Spanish Hotels” on September 15th in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly’s OnlineFirst collection. Other articles that are available OnlineFirst can be found here.
Seeking to fill the gap on research regarding the hospitality industry in relation to the environment, this article examines the environmental peculiarities of the tourism industry. Applying a single framework, the article analyzes the antecedents of organizations’ perceptions of the environment by combining two theoretical approaches: institutional theory and the resource-based view. The study uses a structural equation model to analyze the data from 239 hotels in Spain. The findings show that a number of external factors (i.e., environmental regulation, stakeholders, and uncertainty) and internal factors (i.e., resources and capabilities) have different effects on managerial perceptions of the environment as a competitive opportunity. The study demonstrates that the attitude and perceptions of managers appear to be essential factors for investment in preventive environmental technologies. Among other findings, the study found that managers respond favorably to voluntary norms, rather than environmental legislation; stakeholder pressure seems to have a negative effect on managers’ perceptions of the competitive opportunity inherent in sustainability; and the availability of complementary resources encourages managers’ perceptions of sustainability as a competitive opportunity. These perceptions are behind the adoption of an environmental management scheme with a stronger focus on prevention strategies. The perception of this competitive advantage means that a manager is more likely to develop a proactive environmental management approach.