Publication Details

Maletic, M., Maletic, D., Dahlgaard, J. J., Dahlgaard-Park, S. & Gomiscek, B. 2014, 'Patterns and performance benefits of sustainability practices: a cross-country comparison', in R. Kovacic Lukman (eds), European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production - ERSCP 2014, Nigrad, Slovenia, pp. 720-731.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9789619373811


This paper aims to explore the relationship between sustainability practices and organizational performance. In particular, this paper draws upon institutional theory whit the aim to enhance the understanding of sustainability-related phenomena, mainly from the perspective which has not yet been widely investigated in prior empirical studies. Therefore, the paper addresses the research question whether sustainability practices as conceptualized within the framework of exploitation and exploration notions are characterized by organization's country of origin. The target respondents of a large scale web-based survey were manufacturing and service industries distributed across five countries: Germany, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain. Multiple regression with categorical predictors (dummy variables) was utilized to examine country effects on each of the performance measures. The outcome of the regression analysis provides some evidence indicating that organizations based in different countries hold substantially different perspectives: (1) Regarding the patterns and correlations among organizational performance dimensions; (2) Regarding the achieved levels of organizational performance as a consequence of deploying sustainability practices. In general, results suggest that organizations in different countries show many more differences in relation to the sustainability practices and organizational performance compared to the organizations within the same country. With this respect results suggest that institutional mechanisms might be a plausible explanation for differences in the deployment of sustainability practices and the effects of sustainability practices on the organizational performance. The paper contributes to the literature by providing a more clarity and better understanding of how organizations may effectively pursue sustainability practices to gain performance benefits.