The Roles of Local Employment and Environmental Sustainability on Business Performance: The Mediating Role of Brand Image in The Modern Trade Business in Rural Areas in Thailand

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Akaraphun Ratasuk


The concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been raised and highlighted in many industries to help build society's sustainable prosperity. In particular, the modern trade business is among Thailand's sectors that have begun incorporating SDGs in business activities. However, whether the SDGs adopted by the modern trade business affect the company image and performance is still an issue that needs to be explored. In response to these research questions, this study aims to investigate the influence of modern trade businesses’ local employment and environmental sustainability practices on the brand image and business performance perceived by customers. In this research, stratified random sampling was employed for sample selection. Survey data were collected from customers of modern trade stores located in rural areas of five cities in the central region of Thailand, namely Nakorn Pathom, Samut Songkhram, Ayudhaya, Kanchanaburi, and Lopburi. The data were derived from 557 customers and 52 managers from 52 stores. Partial least squares structural equation modeling will be used in the data analysis. The PLS-SEM results showed that local employment (β=0.087; p=0.018) and environmental responsibility (β=0.132; p<0.001) could directly promote business performance. Sobel’s test results demonstrated that business performance could also be indirectly promoted by fostering brand image through both local employment (t=6.359; p<0.001) and environmental responsibility (t=6.324; p<0.001).This research contributed new and additional knowledge and expanded the concept of the Corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory to the context of the modern trade business that was still underexplored.

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