Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management


Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Tianshu Zheng

Second Advisor

Robert Bosselman


As concern for environmental issues has grown, companies have engaged in more environmental sustainability initiatives. Although managers recognize that long-term financial growth cannot be achieved without social and environmental responsibility, top managers, key players in advancing environmental sustainability, are often faced with challenges with respect to “how to” improve environmental performance.

This study examined the role of top management’s values and leadership in advancing environmental sustainability. It also investigated the effects of stakeholder engagement on corporate environmental sustainability performance and assessed the impact of related practices on corporate performance. An online survey was designed to collect data from top restaurant managers in the United States. Invitation emails were sent to 2,500 managers and 240 responses were returned, 218 of which were retained for final analysis (response rate: 8.7%). Structural equation modeling was used for the data analysis.

The findings confirmed the significance of top management values and leadership in advancing environmental commitment and demonstrated the strong impact of stakeholder engagement on restaurants’ commitment to environmental performance. Finally, findings indicated the positive influence of restaurants’ environmental sustainability performance on both financial and nonfinancial performance. This study presented a theoretical framework integrating theories and models from the literature, contributing to an enhanced understanding of restaurants’ environmental sustainability.

The findings have the following practical implications for restaurant managers. First, managers should design a long-term strategy for engaging with primary stakeholders and strengthen relationships with them to enhance environmental sustainability. Second, restaurant companies need to formulate environmental strategies and practices to reap the financial and nonfinancial benefits of sustainability. Finally, restaurant companies need either to hire applicants with strong environmental values and leadership or develop systems that encourage environmentally responsible leader behaviors.


Copyright Owner

Yoon Jung Jang



File Format


File Size

164 pages