The Drivers of Corporate Climate Change Strategies and Public Policy: A New Resource-Based View Perspective

Business and Society 56 (4):545-575 (2017)
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Effective public policy to mitigate climate change footprints should build on data-driven analysis of firm-level strategies. This article’s conceptual approach augments the resource-based view of the firm and identifies investments in four firm-level resource domains to develop capabilities in climate change impact mitigation. The authors denote the resulting framework as the GISTe model, which frames their analysis and public policy recommendations. This research uses the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project database, with high-quality information on firm-level climate change strategies for 552 companies from North America and Europe. In contrast to the widely accepted myth that European firms are performing better than North American ones, the authors find a different result. Many firms, whether European or North American, do not just “talk” about climate change impact mitigation, but actually do “walk the talk.” European firms appear to be better than their North American counterparts in “walk I,” denoting attention to governance, information management, and systems. But when it comes down to “walk II,” meaning actual Technology-related investments, North American firms’ performance is equal or superior to that of the European companies. The authors formulate public policy recommendations to accelerate firm-level, sector-level, and cluster-level implementation of climate change strategies.



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