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The Road to Sustainability: Exploring the Process of Corporate Environmental Strategy Over Time

Authors

  • Giorgos Papagiannakis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens, Greece
    • Correspondence to: Giorgos Papagiannakis, Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology, Patission 76, Athens 10434, Greece. E-mail: gpapagian@aueb.gr

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  • Irini Voudouris,

    1. Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens, Greece
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  • Spyros Lioukas

    1. Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens, Greece
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ABSTRACT

We explore corporate environmental strategy over time, investigating the patterns of evolving environmental investment decisions. Longitudinal case studies provide evidence that environmental strategy evolves through a feedback process, wherein outcomes of earlier decisions have an impact on subsequent decisions. Specifically, positive feedback from outcomes like innovation triggers higher goals, enhancing the undertaking of advanced investments, whereas negative feedback from outcomes, such as increased costs, decelerates the adoption of further investments. The study points to an emergent view of environmental strategy, where capabilities that are gradually developed in concomitance with environmental outcomes lead to an upgrading of environmental goals, thus triggering the feedback process. The process eventually culminates in higher levels of environmental conduct, being more and more integrated with business strategy and competitive advantage. Managers' values and environmental attitudes influence environmental decisions and actions, affecting the acceleration of the feedback process and the magnitude of responses. Managerial implications are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

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