Drivers of Green Innovations: The Impact of Export Intensity, Women Leaders, and Absorptive Capacity

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Jeremy Galbreath.

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Appendix

Appendix

Green innovationsa

  1. 1.

    Alternative energy sources (e.g., green electric power, solar, wind) in the overall production of wine.

  2. 2.

    Alternative packaging to bottle wine (e.g., lightweight glass bottles, plastic PET bottles, recycled bottles).

  3. 3.

    Reduction in refrigeration loads (e.g., nighttime air cooling, timing of loads).

  4. 4.

    Energy-efficient technology in buildings (e.g., variable speed devices, computer-controlled lighting, use of thermal efficient materials).

  5. 5.

    Minimization of agrichemicals (e.g., through use of petiole analysis, optical weed spray controllers).

  6. 6.

    Alternative fuel (e.g., biodiesel, ethanol) to power tractors, utility vehicles, machinery, etc.

  7. 7.

    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.

Absorptive capacityb

  1. 1.

    Our business experiences difficulties in implementing changes required to meet market demands (reverse coded).

  2. 2.

    Our business quickly recognizes the usefulness of new external knowledge to existing knowledge.

  3. 3.

    Our business regularly reconsiders technologies and adapts them accordant to new knowledge.

  4. 4.

    Practical experiences are rarely shared in the business (reverse coded).*

  5. 5.

    It is clearly known how activities within our business should be performed.*

  6. 6.

    Newly acquired knowledge is documented and stored for future reference.

  7. 7.

    Our business regularly considers the impact of changing market demands in terms of new products and/or modifications of existing ones.

  8. 8.

    We have difficulty in grasping opportunities for our business from new external knowledge (reverse coded).

  9. 9.

    We constantly consider how to better exploit new knowledge.

  10. 10.

    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.

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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

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Keywords

  • Absorptive capacity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Exports
  • Export intensity
  • Gender
  • Green innovation
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability