Complementary Resources and Capabilities for an Ethical and Environmental Management: A Qual/Quan Study

Journal of Business Ethics 82 (3):701-732 (2008)

Maria Lopez
University of Edinburgh
Managers’ commitment to contribute to sustainable development holds the key to their long-term business success and may be a source of competitive advantage. The managerial perception of business ethics is influenced by the level of moral development and personal characteristics of managers. These perceptions are also shaped by forces existing in the environment of the firm, including available resources, societal expectations, sector, and regulations. The resource-based perspective can thus contribute to the analysis of ethical issues offering important insights on how they can influence the environmental strategy of the firm. The findings of this study show that firm resources have a strong influence on business managers’ ethical attitudes. In addition, the application of resource-based rationales to ethical issues can be justified in the following several ways: it influences a managerial perception of natural environment as a competitive opportunity, it requires investments of financial and human resources, flexibility and speed in the adaptation to environmental changes, and it creates new resource-based opportunities through changes in prevention pollution technology, policy process, and market forces.
Keywords business ethics  social responsibility  resource-based perspective  environmental strategy  legitimacy
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9587-x
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