Table of Contents

Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship

New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series

Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik

In recent years our understanding of corporate sustainability has moved from exploitation to exploration, from corporate environmental management to sustainable entrepreneurship, and from efficiency to innovation. Yet current trends indicate the need for radical innovation via entrepreneurial start-ups or new ventures within existing corporations despite difficulties with the financing and marketing of such efforts. Presenting both conceptual and empirical research, this fascinating book addresses how we can combine environmental and social sustainability with economic sustainability in order to produce innovative new business models.

Chapter 7: Enhancing Ecopreneurship through an Environmental Management System: A Longitudinal Analysis of Factors Leading to Proactive Employee Behaviour

Kerstin Pichel

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, environment, corporate social responsibility, environmental management, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship


Kerstin Pichel Ecopreneurship (Petersen, 2000) – individual environmental initiatives taken by employees – is an important basis for a company’s success in environmental performance (Kolluru, 1994; Ruiz-Quintanilla et al., 1996). But how can it be enhanced? Ecopreneurship is an extraordinary type of behaviour that derives not from an employee’s job description or the management’s requirements, but from personal engagement (Ramus and Steger, 2000). Therefore it cannot simply be demanded but must be encouraged. A range of contextual, individual and cultural factors can support it, including resources such as time and money (Hoffman, 2005: 36ff.), qualifications (Bansal and Roth, 2000), environmental attitudes (Cordano and Frieze, 2000), self-efficacy (Hostager et al., 1998), supervisory support (Ramus and Steger, 2000) and the proenvironmental commitment of managers and other key personalities (Hostager et al., 1998; Prakash, 2001). Can all these antecedents be allocated by a certain management system? In 1995, Europe saw the start of a boom in companies implementing an environmental management system (EMS), and scholars expected the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) to organize environmental policies, programmes and measures. Ecopreneurship was seen as an important byproduct (UNI and ASU, 1997: A34; Höppner et al., 1998: 74; Hamschmidt and Dyllick, 1999: 43). Executives of companies with EMS activities reported as follows (Liedtke et al., 1997: 43): Employees make more suggestions. They feel better informed and are more interested. (Femira) 141 142 Sustainable corporate venturing and intrapreneurship Employees were all interested in...

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