Author: Vejvar, Markus Simon
Title: Essays on sustainability issues in transportation management
Advisors: Lai, Kee-hung Mike (LMS)
Lo, Kwan Yu Chris (ITC)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Transportation -- Management
Transportation -- Environmental aspects
Department: Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies
Pages: xii, 225 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Global transportation has profoundly affected and shaped our modern-day world. However, the transportation of cargo and passengers produces massive global negative externalities on both the environment and societies that need to be addressed. As commercial transportation companies are inherently focused on profitability goals, they tend to disregard environmental and social issues in their operations by implementing sustainability practices in accordance with the legally-mandated minimum or by paying lip service to the demands of stakeholders. Consequently, and keeping in mind the international nature of the transportation business, efficient ways to regulate and govern these externalities in a global context need to be identified, while paying special attention to not compromising the economic viability of transportation firms. This thesis explores holistic sustainability as a tridimensional construct encompassing economic, environmental, and social goals in the transportation industry. It consists of five independent empirical studies that jointly discuss how the sustainability discourse diffuses through the industry, which factors are antecedents of the adoption of sustainability practices, and how sustainability practice adoption affects the operational performance of transportation firms. We employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods on different data sets from both the maritime and air transportation sectors to show that external institutional pressures play a dominant role in a transportation firm's sustainability performance, and that the implementation of said practices incurs hidden costs and benefits for companies that need to be regarded by executives. Consequently, this thesis contributes to the current discussion of sustainability in transportation in both theory and practice. From a theoretical perspective, we provide additional evidence on how practices and discourse diffuse through an industry and contribute new measurements of sustainability and methodical approaches to the general discourse on holistic sustainability. Our practical contributions include further insights on the intricate links between corporate performance and sustainability, and also highlight profound implications for policymakers on how and why firms adopt (or do not adopt) sustainable practices, which can help to improve the effectiveness of future policy and regulations.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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