The role of human resource management and lean manufacturing
The main objective of this study is to verify the influence of Environmental Management (EM) on Operational Performance (OP) in Brazilian automotive companies, analyzing whether Lean Manufacturing (LM) and Human Resources (HR) interfere in the greening of these companies. Therefore, a conceptual framework listing these concepts was proposed, and three research hypotheses were presented. A questionnaire was elaborated based on this theoretical background and sent to respondents occupying the highest positions in the production/operations areas of Brazilian automotive companies. The data, collected from 75 companies, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The main results are as follows: (a) the model tested revealed an adequate goodness of fit, showing that overall, the relations proposed between EM and OP and between HR, LM and EM tend to be statistically valid; (b) EM tends to influence OP in a positive and statistically weak manner; (c) LM has a greater influence on EM when compared to the influence HR has over EM; (d) HR has a positive relationship over EM, but the statistical significance of this relationship is less than that of the other evaluated relationships. The originality of this paper lies in its gathering the concepts of EM, LM, HR and OP in a single study, as they generally tend not to be treated jointly. This paper also provided valid empirical evidence for a littlestudied context: the Brazilian automotive sector.
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2013, Vol 47, p. 129-140