The Role of Short-Termism and Uncertainty Avoidance in Organizational Inaction on Climate Change: A Multi-Level Framework

Business and Society 56 (2):253-282 (2017)
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Abstract

Despite increasing pressure to deal with climate change, firms have been slow to respond with effective action. This article presents a multi-level framework for a better understanding of why many firms are failing to reduce their absolute greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. The concepts of short-termism and uncertainty avoidance from research in psychology, sociology, and organization theory can explain the phenomenon of organizational inaction on climate change. Antecedents related to short-termism and uncertainty avoidance reinforce one another at three levels—individual, organizational, and institutional—and result in organizational inaction on climate change. The article also discusses the implications of this multi-level framework for research on corporate sustainability.

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