Under the Tip of the Iceberg: Absorptive Capacity, Environmental Strategy, and Competitive Advantage

Business & Society, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2010

See all articles by Magali A. Delmas

Magali A. Delmas

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Volker H. Hoffmann

ETH Zürich

Matthias Kuss

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 17, 2010

Abstract

While abundant literature evaluates how the adoption of proactive environmental strategies affects corporate performance, we have little understanding of the organizational mechanisms that link such strategies to competitive advantage. It is therefore unclear how environmental strategies relate to other management strategies that could lead to a competitive advantage. In this paper, we analyze the organizational capabilities that underlie a firm’s ability to generate competitive advantage from the adoption of proactive environmental strategies. We develop and test a model where absorptive capacity facilitates the development of proactive environmental strategies that result in competitive advantage. Results from a survey of 157 German chemical firms strongly support the model.

Keywords: Absorptive Capacity, Environmental Strategy, Competitive Advantage, Chemical Industry, Structural Equation Modeling

JEL Classification: L2, L65, M14

Suggested Citation

Delmas, Magali A. and Hoffmann, Volker H. and Kuss, Matthias, Under the Tip of the Iceberg: Absorptive Capacity, Environmental Strategy, and Competitive Advantage (September 17, 2010). Business & Society, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1678715

Magali A. Delmas (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Volker H. Hoffmann

ETH Zürich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
8092 Zurich, CH-1015
Switzerland

Matthias Kuss

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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