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 10: The Adoption of Environmentally Friendly Products in Mature Organizational Fields

Patrick A.M. Vermeulen and Annekathrin Ellersiek

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


10. The adoption of environmentally friendly products in mature organizational fields Patrick A.M. Vermeulen and Annekathrin Ellersiek The growth of the global economy and the total population of our planet combined with increased consumption of fossil fuels and heightened industrial production threaten the future of our natural environment. Over the last decades, environmental issues have become increasingly important for companies’ business activities. The publication of the Brundtland Commission Report in 1987 (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) has been an accelerator for environmental concerns for both managers and academics. In response to the severe damage of business activities to the natural environment (Shrivastava, 1994), organization theorists and strategists have slowly started to realize the importance of studying the biosphere in relation to organizations (for example, Gladwin et al., 1995; Hart, 1995; Starik and Rands, 1995; Aragón-Correa, 1998; Starik and Marcus, 2000). The appearance of special research forums in the Academy of Management Review (1995) and the Academy of Management Journal (2000) and the presence of specialized journals such as Organization and Environment and Business Strategy and the Environment further illustrate the increased academic interest in the natural environment. Various reasons exist for increased ecological responses, including legislation, stakeholder pressures, ethical motives and economic opportunities (Bansal and Roth, 2000). An important body of environmentally orientated research in the strategic management tradition has focused on the last reason; more specifically, scholars in this stream of research concentrate on the relation between environmental strategies and competitive advantage or superior performance...

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