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SMEs and environmental responsibility: do actions reflect attitudes?

Authors

  • Sue Cassells,

    1. School of Economics & Finance & New Zealand Centre for SME Research, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
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  • Kate Lewis

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Management & New Zealand Centre for SME Research, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
    • School of Management & New Zealand Centre for SME Research, Massey University, P.O. Box 756, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
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Abstract

Globally there is mounting pressure for firms to assess their impact on the environment, and to modify their behaviour accordingly. The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is often described as ‘hard to reach’ and lagging behind in terms of ‘green business’ due to management and resourcing issues characteristic of SMEs (e.g. resource poverty and a lack of management capability). This absence of resource slack then translates into an unwillingness and/or inability to commit to environmental improvements in any systematic and ongoing fashion, if at all. However, a lack of action in the context of the firm does not always reflect the personal attitudes of the individual SME owner-managers. The link between attitude and action is explored in the paper through the examination of the inter-relationship between awareness of environmental impact, attitude towards environmental issues, and environmental practice adoption. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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