The Role of Stakeholders’ Expectations and Organisational Culture in Sustainable Port Operations: The Case of Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Digital Library
Global trade through seaports has increased substantially in recent decades, which has led to problems affecting people, land and the economy. Seaports must implement sustainability practices concerning environmental, social and economic issues to obtain maximum benefits from port operations. This study aimed to analyse the effects of stakeholders’ expectations (SHE), how efficient operations (EO) can contribute to continued sustainability practices and how organisational culture influences port sustainability practices (PSP) from a long-term Saudi Arabian perspective. The study used a mixed methods research design (qualitative and quantitative) through the lenses of stakeholder and institutional theories. The qualitative phase comprised 12 interviews with port stakeholders, port authority officials, terminal operators and port users to identify port-specific problems relating to the efficiency of operations and sustainability practices. NVivo 12 software was used to analyse this data. The quantitative phase involved 239 participants (port authority officials, terminal operators and port users), who each completed a survey questionnaire. The survey data were analysed and evaluated using partial least squares–based structural equation modelling. The results revealed that SHEs significantly influence PSPs and that organisational cultures, including control and flexible orientation, moderate the relationships between SHEs and PSPs in highly competitive business environments. Control orientation negatively affects the relationships between SHEs and PSPs, while flexible orientation positively affects this relationship. Flexibility-oriented ports contribute significantly to enhancing PSPs. This study makes a significant theoretical contribution by extending both stakeholder and institutional theories. It also makes a significant practical contribution by providing guidelines to port investors to assist them in executing the best strategies in their port systems. Further, this study contributes to the port sustainability literature by analysing the relative roles of various elements in achieving PSPs, generating practical knowledge for port managers, operators and authorities.
port sustainability, stakeholders’ expectations, efficient port operations, sustainability practices, organisational culture, Saudi Arabia, mixed methods