This study sets out to evaluate the role and emerging salience of environmental managers in a longitudinal perspective through a series of interviews with UK based environmental managers. Our results suggest that coercive isomorphic pressures are particularly important in driving the increased salience of the environmental management role and that stakeholder pressures overall have increased since 2006 which has further contributed to the environmental management function emerging as central to the business organisation. Views on the impact of the financial crisis (...) were divided. (shrink)
This paper develops the outlines of a research proposal asking how do environmental managers engage in organisational ambidexterity in order to bridge the competing institutional logics defining and affecting their roles and practices? Drawing on a conceptual framework of organisational ambidexterity we seek to explore how environmental managers manage the competing institutional logics defining and affecting their roles and practices. Using qualitative inductive analysis on interviews with a multitude of UK firms undertaken at the height of the global financial crisis, (...) we plan to examine the organizational capabilities required for dealing with the ethical and strategic trade-offs between meeting economic and ecological organizational objectives, and thus address questions around how companies can move from ambition to more lasting impact. (shrink)
How do a country’s basic institutions enable or hinder women’s rise to the boards of public companies? The study evaluates this question with reference to the five basic institutions that research suggests are common across all countries: family, education, economy, government, and religion. The study draws on a sample, which consists of 23 countries, and the study is framed in neo-institutional theory. In analyzing the role of these institutions, the article seeks to understand better the relationships between specific institutions and (...) the share of board seats held by women. The results suggest that four of the five basic institutions are related to the share of board seats women hold. Family, education, economy, and government influence women’s rise to the board; however, religion does not influence women’s rise to the corporate board of directors. (shrink)
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that firms are responding differently to the mounting concerns over environmental degradation and climate change. While a few studies at individual firm level do exist, relatively little is known about the longitudinal development of corporate environmental strategy at the population level of firms. Employing KLD data we explore the evolution of environmental strategy among a sample of S&P500 corporations over the period 1997 to 2006. We theoretically ground our study in Burgelman’s (1991) autonomous and induced (...) perspectives of strategy-making. Our findings suggest widespread inertia among firms to adjust to the changing socio-institutional environment. (shrink)
In this article we explore the influences upon the proportion of women on a country’s corporate boards. Using a conceptual framework that builds uponnational business systems theory, we investigate the extent to which national economic, cultural, political and social institutions explain cross-country variationin the gender composition of corporate elites. In the context of a sample drawn from over 40 countries, our empirical analysis shows that such institutionscollectively explain approximately two-thirds of the variance between countries in the percentage of women on (...) their corporate boards. Specifically, our findingsshow that economic and cultural factors play a particularly important role in shaping the gender balance of boards in comparison to political and social factors. (shrink)
Addressing climate change is among the most challenging ethical issues facing contemporary business and society. Unsustainable business activities are causing significant distributional and procedural injustices in areas such as public health and vulnerability to extreme weather events, primarily because of a distinction between primary emitters and those already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Business, as a significant contributor to climate change and beneficiary of externalizing environmental costs, has an obligation to address its environmental impacts. In this paper, we explore (...) the role of firms’ climate change targets in shaping their emissions trends in the context of a large multi-country sample of companies. We contrast two intentions for setting emissions reductions targets: symbolic attempts to manage external stakeholder perceptions via “greenwashing” and substantive commitments to reducing environmental impacts. We argue that the attributes of firms’ climate change targets are diagnostic of firms’ underlying intentions. Consistent with our hypotheses, while we find no overall effect of setting climate change targets on emissions, we show that targets characterized by a commitment to more ambitious emissions reductions, a longer target time frame, and absolute reductions in emissions are associated with significant reductions in firms’ emissions. Our evidence suggests the need for vigilance among policy-makers and environmental campaigners regarding the underlying intentions that accompany environmental management practices and shows that these can to some extent be diagnosed analytically. (shrink)
Prior research that analyses the cross-firm variation in the prevalence of women on corporate boards has tended to emphasise the importance of firm and industry-level factors, such as firm size, the quality of corporate governance, and the proximity to final consumers. In contrast, very little research has explored the role of national institutional factors for this important phenomenon. In this study, we explore the relative importance of country, industry, and firm-level factors in explaining the cross-firm variation in the proportion of (...) directorships occupied by female directors. Findings indicate that while all levels of influence are significant, country-level effects are a highly-important and under-researched antecedent of the presence of women on corporate boards. (shrink)
This paper prepares an investigation into environmental performance among multinational enterprises in the context of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors offer a theoretical background about how MNCs are faced with opposing choices with regard to standardising or adjusting their local environmental performances. Moreover, we outline a potential methodology for exploring the variation in MNCs’ levels of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.
In this article we explore the state of current ESCM practices in U.K. companies. We develop a conceptual framework that draws upon the stakeholder,resource-based, and power-dependence perspectives and examine this framework in light of empirical evidence concerning ESCM in 166 UK companies. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, our evidence suggests that around 50% of sample companies engage in some form of ESCM activity and that experiencing significant external pressure from customers is an important driver of ESCM.
In this study, we set out to examine the role played by country institutional environments in explaining cross-country variation in the prevalence of women on corporate boards of directors. In order to address this question, we compare the predictive power and substantive implications of four existing typologies of national institutional environments due to Hall and Soskice (2001), La Porta et al., (1999), Weimar and Pape’s (1999), and Whitley (1991, 1996, 1999). These frameworks encapsulate a variety of national institutionalcharacteristics and provide (...) a means to a) evaluate the significance of national institutional environments for the presence of women on boards, and b) distinguish between the importance of various specific aspects of country institutional environments for board diversity. Our findings show that as much as half of the variation across countries in the presence of women on corporate boards is attributable to institutional factors and that legally-oriented institutions appear to play the most significant role in shaping board diversity. (shrink)
Organizations that do not implement espoused policies in practice face the risk of societal disapproval if the decoupling is exposed in an era of increased transparency and accountability expectations. While policy-practice decoupling remains an observed organizational outcome, organizations are becoming less inclined to deliberately adopt strategies of decoupling. Our first contribution to theory is an extended conceptual model which integrates both original accounts and recent developments in decoupling theory. Secondly we propose that decoupling is more often an unintended outcome of (...) attempts to tightly couple, than a cynical evasive organizational act. Finally we propose three key conditions under which attempts to implement the policy yield decoupled or tightly coupled organizational outcomes, explicitly incorporating the role of individual agency into the decoupling frame. (shrink)
Recent literature on the moral economy of nineteenth-century German historiography shares with older scholarship on Leopold von Ranke's methodological revolution a tendency to refer to “the” historical discipline in the third person singular. This would make sense as long as historians occupied a common professional space and/or shared a basic understanding of what it meant to be a historian. Yet, as this article demonstrates, in a world sharply divided over political and religious issues, historians found it difficult to agree on (...) what it meant to be a good historian. Drawing on the case of Ranke's influential pupil Georg Waitz, whose death in 1886 occasioned a debate on the relative merits of the example that Waitz had embodied, this article argues that historians in early imperial Germany were considerably more divided over what they called “the virtues of the historian” than has been acknowledged to date. Their most important frame of reference was not a shared discipline but rather a variety of approaches corresponding to a diversity of models or examples, the defining features of which were often starkly contrasted. Although common ground beneath these disagreements was not entirely absent, the habit of late nineteenth-century German historians to position themselves between Waitz and Heinrich von Sybel, Ranke and Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, or other pairs of proper names turned into models of virtue, suggests that these historians experienced their professional environment as characterized primarily by disagreement over the marks of a good historian. (shrink)