Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 104, Issue 3, pp 421–432 | Cite as

To What Extent is Business Responding to Climate Change? Evidence from a Global Wine Producer

  • Jeremy GalbreathEmail author


Most studies on climate change response have examined reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet these studies do not take into account ecosystem services constraints and biophysical disruptions wrought by climate change that may require broader types of response. By studying a firm in the wine industry and using a research approach not constrained by structured methodologies or biased toward GHG emissions, the findings suggest that both “inside out” and “outside in” actions are taken in response to climate change. While attempts are made by the firm to curtail and reverse climate change through management of carbon emissions, evidence suggests a clear pattern of actions designed to adjust to the adverse consequences of climate change as well. The results both confirm and extend previous findings and suggest that the level and breadth of response to climate change is shaped by situated attention, structural controls, and industry type.


Adaptive Australia Climate change Greenhouse gas emissions Mitigative Strategy Sustainability Wine 



The author thanks Kim Benjamin for her research efforts on this study.


  1. Arndt, M., & Bigelow, B. (2000). Presenting structural innovation in an institutional environment: Hospitals’ use of impression management. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 494–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashenfelter, O. C., Ashmore, D., & Lalonde, R. (1995). Bordeaux wine vintage quality and the weather. Chance, 8, 7–14.Google Scholar
  3. Ashenfelter, O. C., & Storchmann, K. (2010). Using hedonic model of solar radiation to assess the economic effect of climate change: The case of Mosel valley vineyards. The Review of Economic Statistics, 92, 333–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnett, M. L. (2008). An attention-based view of real options reasoning. Academy of Management Review, 33, 606–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Belkin, D. (2007). Northern vintage: Canada’s wines rise with mercury. Growers try classy grapes. Wall Street Journal, October 15.Google Scholar
  6. Braungart, M., & McDonough, W. (2002). Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make things. New York: North Point Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bryman, A., & Burgess, R. G. (Eds.). (1994). Analyzing qualitative data. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Chapple, W., & Moon, J. (2005). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Asia: A seven-country study of CSR web site reporting. Business and Society, 44, 415–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarkson, P., Li, Y., Richardson, G., & Vasvari, F. (2008). Revisiting the relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical analysis. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33, 303–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colman, T., & Päster, P. (2009). Red, white, and ‘green’: The cost of greenhouse gas emissions in the global wine trade. Journal of Wine Research, 20, 15–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Commonwealth of Australia. (2003). A guide to energy efficiency innovation in Australia wineries: Energy efficiency best practice. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  12. Cormier, D., Magnan, M., & Van Velthoven, B. (2005). Environmental disclosure quality in large german companies: Economic incentives, public pressures or institutional conditions? European Accounting Review, 14, 3–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cyert, R., & March, J. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Dey, I. (1993). Qualitative data analysis. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dirsmith, M. W., & Covaleski, M. A. (1983). Strategy, external communication and environment context. Strategic Management Journal, 4, 137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Downey, M. O., Dokoozlian, N. K., & Krstic, M. P. (2006). Cultural practice and environmental impacts on the flavonoid composition of grapes and wine: A review of recent research. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 46, 219–226.Google Scholar
  17. Driscoll, C., & Starik, M. (2004). The primordial stakeholder: Advancing the conceptual consideration of stakeholder status for the natural environment. Journal of Business Ethics, 49, 55–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunn, S. (2002). Down to business on climate change: An overview of corporate strategies. Greener Management International, 39, 27–41.Google Scholar
  19. Dyer, W. G. Jr., & Wilkins, A. (1991). Better stories, not better constructs: A rejoinder to Eisenhardt. Academy of Management Review, 16, 613–619.Google Scholar
  20. Eberlein, B., & Matten, D. (2009). Business response to climate change regulation in Canada and Germany: Lessons for MNCs from emerging economies. Journal of Business Ethics, 86, 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14, 532–550.Google Scholar
  22. Fama, E. F., & Jensen, M. C. (1983). Separation of ownership and control. Journal of Law and Economics, 26, 327–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fenner, R. (2009). Foster’s turns to Tempranillo as climate change bakes vineyards., available at
  24. Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. (1991). Social cognition. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  25. Freedman, M., & Jaggi, B. (2005). Global warming, commitment to the Kyoto protocol, and accounting disclosures by the largest global public firms from polluting industries. The International Journal of Accounting, 40, 215–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Friedli, T., Billinger, S., Kickuth, M., & Fleisch, E. (2004). Managing flexibility strategically: A case-study on repositioning. In Proceedings of the 2nd World POM conference and the 15th annual POM conference, Cancun, Mexico, April 30–May 3.Google Scholar
  27. Fukukawa, K., & Moon, J. (2004). A Japanese model of corporate social responsibility? A study of website reporting. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 16, 45–59.Google Scholar
  28. Galbreath, J. (2010). Corporate governance practices that address climate change: An exploratory study. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 335–350.Google Scholar
  29. Galbreath, J. (2011a). Climate change and Margaret River wine: Study results. Perth: Curtin Graduate School of Business.Google Scholar
  30. Galbreath, J. (2011b). Are there gender-related influences on corporate sustainability? A study of women on boards of directors. Journal of Management & Organization, 17, 17–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gunderson, L. H., & Holling, C. S. (Eds.). (2002). Panarchy: Understanding transformation in human and natural systems. Washington, DC: Island.Google Scholar
  32. Haigh, N., & Griffiths, A. (2009). The natural environment as a primary stakeholder: The case of climate change. Business Strategy and the Environment, 18, 347–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hätel, C. E. J., & Pearman, G. I. (2010). Understanding and responding to the climate change issue: Towards a whole-of-science research agenda. Journal of Management & Organization, 16, 16–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hay, J. (2002). Integrating disaster risk management and adaptation to climate variability and change: Needs benefits and approaches from a South Pacific perspective. Paper presented at the UNDP expert group meeting, Havana.Google Scholar
  35. Hoffman, A. J. (2005). Climate change strategy: The business logic behind voluntary greenhouse gas reductions. California Management Review, 47, 21–46.Google Scholar
  36. Hopwood, A. G. (1996). Introduction. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 21, 55–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Finance, 3, 305–350.Google Scholar
  38. Jeswani, H. K., Wehrmeyer, W., & Mulugetta, Y. (2008). How warm is the corporate response to climate change? Evidence from Pakistan and the UK. Business Strategy and the Environment, 17, 46–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jones, C., & Levy, D. (2007). North American business strategies towards climate change. European Management Journal, 25, 428–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jones, G. V., White, M. A., Cooper, O. R., & Storchmann, K. (2005). Climate change and global wine quality. Climate Change, 73, 319–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Keller, M. (2010). Managing grapevines to optimize fruit development in a challenging environment: A climate change primer for viticulturists. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 16, 56–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kolk, A., & Levy, D. L. (2001). Winds of change: Corporate strategy, climate change and oil multinationals. European Management Journal, 19, 501–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kolk, A., & Levy, D. L. (2004). Multinationals and global climate change issues for the automobile and oil industries. In S. Lundan (Ed.), Multinationals, environment and global competition (pp. 171–193). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  44. Kolk, A., & Pinske, J. (2004). Market strategies for climate change. European Management Journal, 22, 304–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lash, J., & Wellington, F. (2007). Competitive advantage on a warming planet. Harvard Business Review, 85, 94–102.Google Scholar
  46. Laverty, K. J. (1996). Economic ‘short-termism’: The debate, the unresolved issues, and the implications for management practice and research. Academy of Management Review, 21, 825–860.Google Scholar
  47. Laverty, K. J. (2004). Managerial myopia or systemic short-termism? The importance of managerial systems in valuing the long term. Management Decision, 42, 949–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Levy, D. L., & Kolk, A. (2002). Strategic responses to global climate change: Conflicting pressures on multinationals in the oil industry. Business and Politics, 4, 275–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Liu, X., & Anbumozhi, V. (2009). Determinant factors of corporate environmental information disclosure: An empirical study of Chinese listed companies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 593–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Martin, N., & Rice, J. (2010). Analyzing emission intensive firms as regulatory stakeholders: A role for adaptable business strategy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 64–75.Google Scholar
  51. Munich Re. (2009). Topics geo natural catastrophes 2008. Munich: Munich Re.Google Scholar
  52. Ocasio, W. (1997). Towards an attention-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 18(Special Issue), 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Okereke, C. (2007). An exploration of motivations, drivers and barriers to carbon management: The UK FTSE 100. European Management Journal, 25, 475–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Oxley, J. E., Rivkin, J. W., & Ryall, M. D. (2010). The strategy research initiative: Recognizing and encouraging high-quality research in strategy. Strategic Organization, 8, 377–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Patton, D. (2002). Give or take on the internet: An examination of the disclosure practices of insurance web innovators. Journal of Business Ethics, 36, 247–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pride, R. (1995). How activists frame social problems: Critical events versus performance trends for schools. Political Communication, 12, 5–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Salancik, G. R., & Meindl, J. R. (1984). Corporate attributions as strategic illusions of management control. Administrative Science Quarterly, 29, 238–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Seguin, B., & de Cortazar, I. G. (2005). Climate warming: Consequences for viticulture and the notion of ‘Terroirs’ in Europe. Acta Horticulture, 689, 61–71.Google Scholar
  59. Siggelkow, N. (2007). Persuasion with case studies. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 20–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Simon, H. A. (1947). Administrative behavior: A study of decision-making processes in administrative organizations. Chicago, IL: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  61. Swiss Re. (2002). Opportunities and risks of climate change. Zurich: Swiss Re.Google Scholar
  62. Tuggle, C. S., Schnatterly, K., & Johnnson, R. A. (2010). Attention patterns in the boardroom: How board composition and processes affect discussion of entrepreneurial issues. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 550–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Webb, L. B., Clingeleffer, P. R., & Tyerman, S. (2010). The genetic envelope of Winegrape Vines: Potential for adaptation to future climate challenges. In S. S. Yadav, B. Redden, J. L. Hatfield, & H. Lotze-Campen (Eds.), Crop adaptation to climate change. Ames, IA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  64. Webb, L. B., Whetton, P. H., & Barlow, E. W. R. (2007). Potential impacts of projected greenhouse gas-induced climate change on Australian viticulture. Australia & New Zealand Wine Industry Journal, 21, 165–175.Google Scholar
  65. Weinhofer, G., & Hoffmann, V. H. (2010). Mitigating climate change—How do corporate strategies differ? Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 77–89.Google Scholar
  66. Williams, S. L. M. (1999). Voluntary environmental and social accounting disclosure practices in the Asia–Pacific region: An international empirical test of political economy theory. The Journal of International Accounting, 34, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Williams, S. M., & Ho Wern Pei, C.-A. (1999). Corporate social disclosures by listed companies on their web sites: An international comparison. The International Journal of Accounting, 34, 389–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Winemakers Federation of Australia. (2003). The 2003 Australian wine industry state of the environment report. Kent Town, SA: Winemakers Federation of Australia.Google Scholar
  69. Winn, M. I., & Kirchgeorg, M. (2005). The siesta is over: A rude awakening from sustainability myopia. In S. Sharma & S. Starik (Eds.), Research in corporate sustainability: Strategic capabilities and competitiveness (Vol. 3, pp. 232–258). Northampton, MA: Elgar.Google Scholar
  70. Winn, M., Kirchgeorg, M., Griffiths, A., Linnenluecke, M. K., & Günther, E. (2010). Impacts from climate change on organizations: A conceptual foundation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20, 157–173.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curtin Graduate School of BusinessCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations