Get access

Integrating Sustainability into Firms' Processes: Performance Effects and the Moderating Role of Business Models and Innovation


Marcus Wagner, University of Würzburg - Chair for Entrepreneurship and Management, Stephanstr. 1, 97070 Würzburg, Germany. E-mail: (also Membre Associé at the Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, Université de Strasbourg)


Innovation has been widely regarded as a panacea for sustainable development, but there remains considerable uncertainty about how it will lead to a more sustainable society. We analyze the role of innovation and business models for the link between the integration of sustainable management with other corporate functions and the economic and environmental performance of companies. Drawing on survey data in the manufacturing sector, we apply structural equation modeling to compare differences between business models and the role of different stakeholder groups in a moderation analysis. We find a positive association of the integration of strategic issues and environmental management with the economic and environmental performance of firms. The results also suggest differences in the link between integration and economic and environmental performance, respectively, depending on the type of business model or innovation pursued, and that secondary stakeholders influence sustainability integration. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.