New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series
Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik
Chapter 10: The Adoption of Environmentally Friendly Products in Mature Organizational Fields
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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