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Stakeholders, the Environment and Society

Edited by Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik

The role of stakeholders is integral to corporate sustainability as society increasingly demands that corporations play a role in achieving environmental objectives in addition to building shareholder wealth. In the first book to gather cutting-edge research on the interactions between stakeholders and organizations within the context of corporate sustainability, the contributors to this volume provide a diversity of perspectives from North America, Europe, and Oceania.
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Chapter 11: Environmental Management Systems and Sustainability: A Framework for Understanding Stakeholder Influence

Deborah Rigling Gallagher


11. Environmental management systems and sustainability: a framework for understanding stakeholder influence Deborah Rigling Gallagher INTRODUCTION Stakeholders influence businesses to ‘go green’ (Bansal and Roth, 2000), to respond to community ecological concerns. Environmental management systems (EMSs) have been described as a tool to promote business greening (Hillary, 2000; Rondinelli and Vastag, 2000; Darnall, Gallagher and Andrews, 2001). Stakeholder theory has been applied to examine impacts of multiple actors on strategic environmental management decisions (Winn, 2001), such as those incorporated in EMSs. Researchers have explored what stakeholders expect from EMSs and the link between stakeholder involvement in EMS design and competitive advantage (Bouma and Kamp-Rowlands, 2000; Delmas, 2001). They have examined implementation within specific industries such as printed circuit board manufacturing, plastics and electronics (Chin and Pun, 1999; Corbett and Cutler, 2000; Russo, 2002) and in specific regions (Chan and Li, 2001). They have considered motivations for developing EMSs (del Brio et al., 2001; Florida and Davison, 2001; King and Lenox, 2001; Nakamura et al., 2001; Khanna and Anton, 2002; Morrow and Rondinelli, 2002). However, the important role of stakeholders such as employees, community members, regulatory agents and customers in EMS design has not yet been clearly defined. This study begins to define that role. By some estimates, American businesses are governed by over 100 000 requirements (Rondinelli, 2000). Business resources are stretched to develop protocols and procedures, invest in pollution control technology, capital and labor, and to provide documentation of environmental compliance, often thwarting...

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