A Guide for Future Research, Collaboration and Review Writing
Edited by Deborah E. de Lange
Chapter 6: Academic Theory
* Dan V. Caprar, Jijun Gao, Elvira Haezendonck, Jonatan Pinkse and Svenja Tams OVERVIEW BY DAN V. CAPRAR The objective of the group was to identify which academic theories have been used in sustainability management literature and what might have motivated their use. We also aimed at exploring whether certain theories are more useful than others, and to what extent new or different theories are needed. The final goal of such exploration was to suggest future paths with regard to theorizing in this field. While our review of the literature has not been exhaustive, we identified a range of theories that are currently used (of course, just like the article base, the list is not exhaustive – a more detailed review is needed, especially in order to determine prevalence of some theories over others). Based on our selective review, we could group theories employed in the sustainability literature into two categories: (1) firm-level explanations: for example, resource-based view (RBV), institutional theory, transaction costs, stakeholder theory/perspective, resource dependency; (2) individual-level explanations: for example, symbolic/political perspectives, constructive developmental individual differences. It appears that no unique theory for green management has been formulated yet; however, a unique (or unified) theory may not be needed. Currently, several existing theories are used without any major adaptations to the field. There is an opportunity to further develop these theories using insights from sustainability; it appears that in general (just like in other fields, perhaps), there is more acceptance for integrating approaches and building on the existing theories, rather...
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