Is the red dragon green? An examination of the antecedents and consequences of environmental proactivity in China

Kent WALKER*, Na NI, Weidong HUO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

China is the world’s second largest economy and the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, yet we know little about environmental proactivity in the most populated country in the world. We address this gap through a survey of 161 Chinese companies with two respondents per firm (N = 322), where we seek to identify the antecedents and consequences of environmental proactivity. We identify two categorizations of environmental proactivity: Environmental operational improvements and environmental reporting. We find that ecological motivations and regulatory stakeholder pressure are positively related to both types of environmental proactivity, and external stakeholder pressure is negatively related to environmental reporting. Furthermore, we find that (1) if a firm is environmentally proactive (as it relates to either measure) and they are ecologically motivated, there is a positive and significant cost advantage, and (2) if a firm makes use of environmental operational improvement and they are competitively motivated, there is a positive and significant reputation advantage. Implications for researchers, managers, and policy-makers in China are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume125
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sept 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Keywords

  • China
  • Competitive advantage
  • Environmental proactivity
  • Motivation
  • Reputation
  • Stakeholder pressure

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