Little research has considered the potential influence of distant, external pressures on the implementation of firms’ ‘green’ innovations, nor how internal firm resources might moderate this relationship. By combining institutional and resource-based theories and examining 649 firms in Australia, I find that export intensity is positively associated with green innovations. Further, as women in leadership roles increase in firms, the relationship strengthens between export intensity and green innovations. The results also suggest that greater levels of absorptive capacity among firms strengthen the relationship between export intensity and green innovations. Contributions of the findings are discussed along with limitations and future research opportunities.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Archabou, M. A., & Dekhili, S. (2013). Luxury and sustainable development: Is there a match? Journal of Business Research, 66, 1896–1903.
Ashworth, R., Boyne, G., & Delbridge, R. (2009). Escape from the iron cage? Organizational change and isomorphic pressures in the public sector. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 19, 165–187.
Atkin, T., Gilinsky, A., Jr., & Newton, S. K. (2012). Environmental strategy: Does it lead to competitive advantage in the US wine industry? International Journal of Wine Business Research, 24, 115–133.
Bansal, P. (2005). Evolving sustainability: A longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic Management Journal, 26, 197–218.
Bansal, P., & Roth, K. (2000). Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 717–736.
Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17, 99–120.
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator distinction in social psychology: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1171–1182.
Bathelt, H. (2005). Cluster relations in the media industry: Exploring the ‘distanced neighbor’ paradox in Leipzig. Regional Studies, 39, 105–127.
Belussi, F., & Sedita, S. (2012). Industrial districts as open learning systems: Combining emergent and deliberate knowledge structures. Regional Studies, 46, 165–184.
Berrone, P., Cruz, C., Gomez-Mejia, L., & Larraza-Kintana, M. (2010). Socioemotional wealth and corporate responses to institutional pressures: Do family-controlled firms pollute less? Administrative Science Quarterly, 55, 82–113.
Bollen, K., & Lennox, R. (1991). Conventional wisdom on measurement: A structural equation perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 305–314.
Catalyst. (2014). Women CEOs of the Fortune 500. http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-ceos-fortune-1000 (accessed January 6, 2016).
Chen, Y.-S., & Chang, C.-H. (2013). The determinants of green produce development performance: Green dynamic capabilities, green transformational leadership, and green creativity. Journal of Business Ethics, 116, 107–119.
Chiarvesio, M., Di Maria, E., & Micelli, S. (2010). Global value chains and open networks: The case of Italian industrial districts. European Planning Studies, 18, 333–350.
Child, J. (1972). Organizational structure, environment and performance: The role of strategic choice. Sociology, 6, 1–22.
Child, J. (1997). Strategic choice in the analysis of action, structure, organizations and environment: Retrospect and prospect. Organization Studies, 18, 43–76.
Christmann, P., & Taylor, G. (2001). Globalization and the environment: Determinants of firm self-regulation in China. Journal of International Business Studies, 32, 439–458.
Christmann, P., & Taylor, G. (2002). Globalization and the environment: Strategies for international voluntary environmental initiatives. Academy of Management Executive, 16, 121–135.
Clark, P., & Mueller, F. (1996). Organizations and nations: from universalism to institutionalism? British Journal of Management, 7, 125–139.
Coe, N. M., & Yeung, H. W.-C. (2001). Geographical perspectives: An introduction to the JEG special issue ‘Mapping globalisation: geographical perspectives on international trade and investment’. Journal of Economic Geography, 1, 367–380.
Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.
Costley, D. (2012). Wine regions to dig deep to promote unique identity. Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker, 579, 67–68.
Cross, R., Plantinga, A. J., & Stavin, R. N. (2011). The value of terroir: Hedonic estimation of vineyard sale prices. Journal of Wine Economics, 6, 1–14.
Cyert, R., & March, J. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Dangelico, R. A., & Pujari, D. (2010). Mainstreaming green product innovation: Why and how companies integrate environmental sustainability. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 471–486.
De Propris, L., Menghinello, S., & Sugden, R. (2008). The internationalization of production systems: Embeddedness, openness and governance. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 20, 493–515.
de Villiers, C., Naiker, V., & van Staden, C. J. (2011). The effect of board characteristics on firm environmental performance. Journal of Management, 37, 1636–1663.
Delmas, M. A. (2002). The diffusion of environmental management standards in Europe and in the United States: An institutional perspective. Policy Sciences, 35, 91–119.
Delmas, M., Hoffmann, V. H., & Kuss, M. (2011). Under the tip of the iceberg: Absorptive capacity, environmental strategy, and competitive advantage. Business and Society, 50, 116–154.
Delmas, M. A., & Toffel, M. W. (2008). Organizational responses to environmental demands: Opening the black box. Strategic Management Journal, 29, 1027–1055.
Diamantopoulos, A., Schlegelmilch, B. B., Sinkovics, R. R., & Bohlen, G. M. (2003). Can socio-demographics still play a role in profiling green consumers? A review of the evidence and an empirical investigation. Journal of Business Research, 56, 465–480.
Diamantopoulus, A., & Winklhofer, H. M. (2001). Index construction with formative indicators: An alternative to scale development. Journal of Marketing Research, 38, 269–277.
DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organization fields. American Sociological Review, 48, 147–160.
Dixon-Fowler, H. R., Ellstrand, A. E., & Johnson, J. L. (2017). The role of board environmental committees in corporate environmental performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 140, 423–438.
Edquist, C. (1997). Introduction. In C. Edquist (Ed.), Systems of innovation: Technologies, institutions and organisations. London: Pinter.
Elm, D. R., Kennedy, E. J., & Lawton, L. (2001). Determinants of moral reasoning: Sex role orientation, gender, and academic factors. Business and Society, 40, 241–265.
Forte, A. (2004). Antecedents of managers’ moral reasoning. Journal of Business Ethics, 51, 315–347.
Francoeur, C., Melis, A., Gaia, S., & Aresu, S. (2017). Green or greed? An alternative look at CEO compensation and corporate environmental commitment. Journal of Business Ethics, 140, 439–453.
Galbreath, J. (2005). Which resources matter to firm success? An exploratory study of resource-based theory. Technovation, 25, 979–987.
Galdeano-Gómez, E., Cépedes-Lorente, J., & Martínez-del-Río, J. (2008). Environmental performance and spillover effects on productivity: Evidence from horticultural firms. Journal of Environmental Management, 88, 1552–1561.
Germann, F., Ebbes, P., & Grewal, R. (2015). The Chief Marketing Officer matters! Journal of Marketing, 79, 1–22.
Gertler, M. S. (2001). Best practice? Geography, learning and the institutional limits to strong convergence. Journal of Economic Geography, 1, 5–26.
Glass, C., Cook, A., & Ingersoll, A. R. (2016). Do women leaders promote sustainability? Analyzing the effects of corporate governance composition on environmental performance. Business Strategy and the Environment, 25, 495–511.
Godfrey, P. C., & Hill, C. W. L. (1995). The problem of unobservables in strategic management research. Strategic Management Journal, 16, 519–533.
Grant, R. M. (1991). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: Implications for strategy formulation. California Management Review, 33, 114–135.
Greenwood, R., & Hinings, C. R. (1996). Understanding radical organizational change: Bringing together the old and new institutionalism. Academy of Management Review, 21, 1022–1054.
Grin, J., Rotmans, J., & Schot, J. (2010). Transitions to sustainable development: New directions in the study of long term transformative change. New York: Routledge.
Halliday, J. (2014). Australian wine companion. Richmond, VIC: Hardie Grant Books.
Hambrick, D. C., & Mason, P. A. (1984). Upper echelons: The organization as a reflection of its top managers. Academy of Management Review, 9, 193–206.
Hart, S. L. (1995). A natural-resource-based view of the firm. Academy of Management Review, 20, 986–1014.
HRReview. (2013). Just 3% of FTSE350 companies have female CEO’s now. http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/diversity-equality/just-3-of-companies-have-female-ceos-now/49078 (accessed January 6, 2014).
Huges, A. (2000). Retailers, knowledges and changing commodity networks: The case of the cut flower trade. Geoforum, 31, 175–200.
Huse, M., Hoskisson, R., Zattoni, A., & Viganò, R. (2011). New perspectives on board research: Changing the research agenda. Journal of Management and Governance, 15(5), 5-28.
IPCC. (2007). Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kassinis, G., Panayiotou, A., Dimou, A., & Katsifaraki, G. (2016). Gender and environmental sustainability: A longitudinal analysis. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 23, 399–412.
Lee, J. W., Kim, Y. M., & Kim, Y. E. (2016). Antecedents of adopting corporate environmental responsibility and green practices. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3024-y.
Leonidou, L., Christodoulides, P., Kyrgidou, L. P., & Palihawadana, D. (2017). Internal drivers and performance consequences of small firm green business strategy: The moderating role of external forces. Journal of Business Ethics, 140, 585–606.
Lin, C.-Y., & Ho, Y.-H. (2011). Determinants of green practice adoption for logistics companies in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 67–83.
Loorbach, D., & Wijsman, K. (2013). Business transition management: Exploring a new role for business in sustainability transitions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45, 20–28.
Maldonado, T., Vera, D. M., & Keller, R. T. (2015). Reconsidering absorptive capacity: A meta-analysis to improve theoretical foundations and measures. In Academy of management best paper proceedings, annual academy of management conference, Vancouver.
Marcus Evans. (2013). ‘Abysmal’ that no female CEO among Germany’s DAX 30 companies. http://www.marcusevans.com/reviews/news.asp?newsID=202 (accessed January 6, 2016).
Marshall, R. C., Akoorie, M. E. M., Hamann, R., & Sinha, P. (2010). Environmental practices in the wine industry: An empirical application of the theory of reasoned action and stakeholder theory in the United States and New Zealand. Journal of World Business, 45, 405–414.
Marshall, R. C., Cordano, M., & Silverman, M. (2005). Exploring individual and institutional drivers of proactive environmentalism in the US Wine Industry. Business Strategy and the Environment, 14, 92–109.
Matten, D., & Moon, J. (2008). “Implicit” and “explicit” CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of the corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review, 33, 404–424.
Mayer, M. C. J., & Whittington, R. (1999). Strategy, structure, and systemness: National institutions and corporate change in France, Germany, and the UK, 1950–1993. Organization Studies, 20, 933–959.
Murovec, N., & Prodan, I. (2009). Absorptive capacity, its determinants, and influence on innovation output: Cross-cultural validation of the structural model. Technovation, 29, 859–872.
Nederhof, A. J. (1985). Methods of coping with social desirability bias: A review. European Journal of Social Psychology, 15(3), 263–280.
O’Brien, R. M. (2007). A caution regarding rules of thumb for variance inflation factors. Quality & Quantity, 41, 673–690.
Oliver, C. (1991). Strategic responses to institutional processes. Academy of Management Review, 16, 145–179.
Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper and Row.
Pinkse, J., & Gasbarro, F. (2016). Managing physical impacts of climate change: An attentional perspective on corporate adaptation. Business & Society. doi:10.1177/0007650316648688.
Pinkse, J., Kuss, M. J., & Hoffmann, V. H. (2010). On the implementation of a ‘global’ environmental strategy: The role of absorptive capacity. International Business Review, 19, 160–177.
Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. (1986). Self reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12(4), 531-544.
Porter, M. E. (1980). Competitive strategy. New York: The Free Press.
Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage. New York: The Free Press.
Porter, M. E. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. New York: The Free Press.
Post, C., Rahman, N., & Rubow, E. (2011). Green governance: Boards of directors’ composition and environmental corporate social responsibility. Business and Society, 50, 189–223.
Rigby, E., Harvey, F., & Birchall, J. (2007). Tesco to put ‘carbon rating’ on labels. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/133d5be4-a718-11db-83e4-0000779e2340.html (accessed on December 4, 2016).
Roth, K. (1995). Managing international interdependence: CEO characteristics in a resource-based framework. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 200–231.
Russo, M. V. (2003). The emergence of sustainable industries: Building on natural capital. Strategic Management Journal, 24, 317–331.
Russo, M. V., & Fouts, P. A. (1997). A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 40, 534–559.
Sanders, W. G., & Carpenter, M. A. (1998). Internationalization and firm governance: The roles of CEO compensation, top team composition, and board structure. Academy of Management Journal, 41, 158–178.
Schaltenbrand, B., Foerstl, K., Azadegan, A., & Lindeman, K. (2016). See what you want to see? The effects of managerial experience on corporate green investments. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3191-x.
Schmitt, P. (2013). Aussie wine trends: 7 sub-regional recognition. www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/01/aussie-wine-trends-7-sub-regional-recognition (accessed June 27, 2016).
Scott, R. W. (2001). Institutions and organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Sharma, S. (2000). Managerial interpretations and organizational context as predictors of corporate choice of environmental strategy. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 681–697.
Sharma, S., & Henriques, I. (2005). Stakeholder influences on sustainability practices in the Canadian forest products industry. Strategic Management Journal, 26, 159–180.
Sharma, S., Pablo, A. L., & Vredenburg, H. (1999). Corporate environmental responsiveness strategies: The importance of issue interpretation and organizational context. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 35, 87–108.
Slawinski, N., & Bansal, P. (2015). Short on time: Intertemporal tensions in business sustainability. Organization Science, 26, 531–549.
Smith, A. (2003). Power relations, industrial clusters, and regional transformations: Pan-European integration and outward processing in the Slovak clothing industry. Economic Geography, 79, 17–40.
Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (1995). The nature and effects of method variance in organizational research. In C. L. Cooper & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), International review of industrial organizational psychology. Chichester: Wiley.
Strachan, S. (2007). A statement of policy and programs to deliver greater sustainability for the Australian wine sector. Adelaide: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.
Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18, 509–533.
Triana, M. C., Miller, T. L., & Trzebiatowski, T. M. (2014). The double-edged nature of board gender diversity: Diversity, firm performance, and the power of women directors as predictors of strategic change. Organization Science, 25, 609–632.
Unwin, T. (1991). Wine and the vine: An historical geography of viticulture and the wine trade. London: Routledge.
van Doorn, S., Heyden, M. L. M., & Volberda, H. W. (2017). Enhancing entrepreneurial orientation in dynamic environments: The interplay between top management team advice-seeking and absorptive capacity. Long Range Planning, 50, 134–144.
Wagner, M. (2013). ‘Green’ human resource benefits: Do they matter as determinants of environmental management system implementation? Journal of Business Ethics, 114, 443–456.
Walker, K., Ni, N., & Huo, W. (2014). In the Red Dragon green? An examination of the antecedents and consequences of environmental proactivity in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 125, 27–43.
WCED. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
WFA. (2007). Trends in environmental assurance in key Australian wine export markets. Adelaide: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.
WGEA. (2012). Australian census of women in leadership. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
Wines of Western Australia. (2014). Western Australia wine industry strategic plan 2014–2024. Claremont, Western Australia: Wines of Western Australia.
Wiseman, F. (1972). Methodological bias in public opinion surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36, 105–108.
Wong, T. K., & Wan, P. (2011). Perceptions and determinants of environmental concern: The case of Hong Kong and its implications for sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 19, 235–249.
Wu, W.-P. (2008). Dimensions of social capital and firm competitiveness improvement: The mediating role of information sharing. Journal of Management Studies, 45, 122–146.
York, J. (2009). Pragmatic sustainability: Translating environmental ethics into competitive advantage. Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 97–109.
Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Alternative energy sources (e.g., green electric power, solar, wind) in the overall production of wine.
Alternative packaging to bottle wine (e.g., lightweight glass bottles, plastic PET bottles, recycled bottles).
Reduction in refrigeration loads (e.g., nighttime air cooling, timing of loads).
Energy-efficient technology in buildings (e.g., variable speed devices, computer-controlled lighting, use of thermal efficient materials).
Minimization of agrichemicals (e.g., through use of petiole analysis, optical weed spray controllers).
Alternative fuel (e.g., biodiesel, ethanol) to power tractors, utility vehicles, machinery, etc.
Carbon sinks/sequestering (e.g., reduced tillage, use of compost, planting of new shrubs, hedgerows, or trees).
a 7-point scale were 1 = not applicable, 2 = not considering, 3 = future consideration, 4 = assessing suitability, 5 = planning to implement, 6 = implementing now, and 7 = implemented.
Our business experiences difficulties in implementing changes required to meet market demands (reverse coded).
Our business quickly recognizes the usefulness of new external knowledge to existing knowledge.
Our business regularly reconsiders technologies and adapts them accordant to new knowledge.
Practical experiences are rarely shared in the business (reverse coded).*
It is clearly known how activities within our business should be performed.*
Newly acquired knowledge is documented and stored for future reference.
Our business regularly considers the impact of changing market demands in terms of new products and/or modifications of existing ones.
We have difficulty in grasping opportunities for our business from new external knowledge (reverse coded).
We constantly consider how to better exploit new knowledge.
Staff periodically meet to discuss the consequences of market trends to the business.*
b Seven-point scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree.
* Item eliminated based on refinement procedure.
About this article
Cite this article
Galbreath, J. Drivers of Green Innovations: The Impact of Export Intensity, Women Leaders, and Absorptive Capacity. J Bus Ethics 158, 47–61 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3715-z
- Absorptive capacity
- Environmental sustainability
- Export intensity
- Green innovation