Organizational Responses to Environmental Demands: Opening the Black Box

Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming

HBS Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Research Paper No. 07-022

56 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2007 Last revised: 17 Jun 2014

See all articles by Magali A. Delmas

Magali A. Delmas

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Michael W. Toffel

Harvard Business School

Abstract

This paper combines new and old institutionalism to explain differences in organizational strategies. We propose that differences in the influence of corporate departments lead their facilities to prioritize different external pressures and thus adopt different management practices. Specifically, we argue that external constituents - including customers, regulators, legislators, local communities, and environmental activist organizations - who interact with influential corporate departments are more likely to affect facility managers' decisions. As a result, managers of facilities that are subjected to comparable institutional pressures adopt distinct sets of management practices that appease different external constituents. We test our framework in the context of the adoption of environmental management practices using an original survey and archival data obtained for nearly 500 facilities. We find support for these hypotheses.

Keywords: Institutional theory, Stakeholder influence, Environmental strategy, ISO 14001, Voluntary, Environmental programs, Structural Equation Modeling

Suggested Citation

Delmas, Magali A. and Toffel, Michael W., Organizational Responses to Environmental Demands: Opening the Black Box. Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming; HBS Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Research Paper No. 07-022. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=994893

Magali A. Delmas (Contact Author)

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

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

Michael W. Toffel

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617.384.8043 (Phone)

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