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Greening the workplace to achieve high level of corporate sustainalbity performance (RDF23/LHRM/ALI2)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Murad Ali, Prof Stephen Teo  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

In recent years, integrating environmental, social and governance frameworks in responsible business strategies has helped to enhance corporate sustainability (Jabbour, 2015). One of the most significant developments in sustainability-related issues is increasing understanding of environmental issues among responsible businesses (Paillé, 2020; Renwick et al., 2013).

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) draw the attention of environmental responsiveness towards responsible businesses. Environmental value and its influence on people and organisations have become ever more significant in the scholarly community in recent years (Renwick, 2018). For regulatory requirements, ‘greening’ the workplace through the implementation of sustainable green human resource management (GHRM) practices is important in determining an organisation’s reputation and this has an impact on its competitive advantage (Paillé et al., 2014; 2020).

GHRM activities play a significant role in constituting environmentally robust pursuits (Aragão and Jabbour, 2017; Renwick, 2018). The latest investigations/examinations have discovered positive feedback from GHRM in materialising organisation-level green viable aims (Jabbour, 2015) and this plays a basic role in effectively spreading green culture (Jabbour, 2013; Renwick et al., 2013).

Our understanding on GHRM suggests that these activities enhance positive environmental outcomes (Paillé et al., 2014; Renwick et al., 2018). Thus, the pressure to formulate responsible business strategies and implement environmental management policies to endorse green behaviours in the organisation is rising and HR departments are striving to introduce pro-environmentalism and sustainability in almost all practices (Algarni et al., 2022).

Therefore, the purpose of this Ph.D research is to investigate the direct empirical associations and configurations of GHRM practices leading to high and low levels of corporate sustainability performance. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected through structured survey questionnaire and interviews from employees working in different sectors. The data will be analysed using mixed-method techniques including symmetrical analyses, such as Mplus, AMOS or LISREL, and asymmetrical modeling analyses, such as necessary condition analysis or fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

The outputs of this research will help practitioners and policy makers to develop their green development strategies to cope with the new challenges in environmental and organisational performance and ultimately contribute to several SDGs. Therefore, it is expected that this Ph.D research will provide useful implications for academics, practitioners and policy makers to follow environmental development strategies. Finally, it is expected that this Ph.D research will develop multiple scholarly studies and will be submitted to top-ranking journals.

Academic Enquiries

This project is supervised by Murad Ali. For informal queries, please contact [Email Address Removed]. For all other enquiries relating to eligibility or application process please use the email form below to contact Admissions. 

Funding Information

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £17,668 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £10,600 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities). 

Please also see further advice below of additional costs that may apply to international applicants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence, and be aware of the following additional costs that may be incurred, as these are not covered by the studentship.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application
  • If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on https://www.gov.uk/student-visa. It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.
  • Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19
  • Costs associated with English Language requirements which may be required for students not having completed a first degree in English, will not be borne by the university. Please see individual adverts for further details of the English Language requirements for the university you are applying to.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see


For applications to be considered for interview, please include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words and the advert reference (e.g. RDF23/…).

Deadline for applications: 27 January 2023

Start date of course: 1 October 2023 tbc

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our doctoral students. We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme. We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers.


Algarni, M. A., Ali, M., Albort-Morant, G., Leal-Rodríguez, A. L., Latan, H., Ali, I., & Ullah, S. (2022). Make green, live clean! Linking adaptive capability and environmental behavior with financial performance through corporate sustainability performance. Journal of Cleaner Production, 346, 131156.
Aragão, C. G., & Jabbour, C. J. C. (2017). Green training for sustainable procurement? Insights from the Brazilian public sector. Industrial and Commercial Training, 49(1), 48-54.
Jabbour, C. J. C. (2013). Environmental training in organisations: From a literature review to a framework for future research. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 74, 144-155.
Jabbour, C. J. C. (2015). Environmental training and environmental management maturity of Brazilian companies with ISO14001: empirical evidence. Journal of Cleaner Production, 96, 331-338.
Paillé, P. (2020). Greening the Workplace: Theories, Methods, and Research. Springer Nature.
Paillé, P., Chen, Y., Boiral, O., & Jin, J. (2014). The impact of human resource management on environmental performance: An employee-level study. Journal of Business ethics, 121(3), 451-466.
Renwick, D. W. S. (2018). Contemporary developments in green human resource management research: Towards sustainability in action. Routledge Research in Sustainability and Business. Taylor & Francis Group.
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