||The increased attention to multinational companies’ (MNCs’) corporate greening in both academic and practitioner realms has raised an important question of how companies build green competitive human capital, and finally enhance environmental competitive advantage. Integrating resource-based view (RBV) and institutional theory, this study offers a systematic analysis on antecedents and consequences of MNCs’ green human capital, and proposes a conceptual research framework. Firstly, RBV asserts that green leadership and greening human capital management (HCM) can result in an environmental competitive advantage. Secondly, according to institutional theory, MNCs have different institutional response to realign subsidiary’s green leadership, environmental strategy, and greening HCM responding to host country’s institutional context.
Combining the results of preliminary qualitative (12 MNCs’ deep interview) and empirical quantitative (212 MNCs’ sampling) methods, this study firstly proposes three different models of institution response and green human capital. Then we use Hierarchical Regression and Structural Equation Modeling to test the moderating effect and conceptual framework, and propose final model. The results show that “greening HCM” and “green competitive human capital” have mediating effects on the relationship between “green entrepreneurial leadership” and “environmental competitive advantage”. Furthermore, Institutional response positively moderates the relationship between “leadership and competitive advantage”, “strategy and competitive advantage” and “HCM and competitive human capital”. These relationships are more positive for firms with higher (more active) institutional response. This research gives some implications and suggestions for theoretical development and corporate greening.