Responsible Consumption and Production

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Business Environment: Emerging External and Internal Pressures for Sustainable Production

  • Natalia SaukkonenEmail author
  • Johanna KirjavainenEmail author
Living reference work entry



Companies need understanding about their business environment to stay competitive, survive, and prosper (Duncan 1972; Dreyer and Grønhaug 2004). Research has developed numerous methods for organizations to scan and build scenarios on their environment (see Amer et al. 2013 for overview). In general, describing the business environment requires analyzing the external and internal context in which the company operates.

Companies’ external environment includes relevant factors outside the boundaries of the organization (Duncan 1972). These factors can occur generally as macro-level trends or as micro-level changes in companies’ immediate operational environment. There is a dynamic interaction between the macro and micro levels. Focusing on a specific level of analysis...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aguilera RV, Rupp DE, Williams CA, Ganapathi J (2007) Putting the S back in corporate social responsibility: A multilevel theory of social change in organizations. Academy of management review 32(3):836–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambec S, Lanoie P (2008) Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Acad Manag Perspect 22(4):45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amer M, Daim TU, Jetter A (2013) A review of scenario planning. Futures 46:23–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astley WG, Fombrun CJ (1983) Collective strategy: social ecology of organizational environments. Acad Manag Rev 8(4):576–587Google Scholar
  5. Barney J, Wright M, Ketchen Jr DJ (2001) The resource-based view of the firm: ten years after 1991. J Manag 27(6):625–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bocken NM, Short SW, Rana P, Evans S (2014) A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. J Clean Prod 65:42–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boons F (2009) Creating ecological value: an evolutionary approach to business strategies and the natural environment. Edward Elgar Publishing, CheltenhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burt G, Wright G, Bradfield R, Cairns G, Van Der Heijden K (2006) The role of scenario planning in exploring the environment in view of the limitations of PEST and its derivatives. Int Stud Manag Organ 36(3):50–76Google Scholar
  9. Capon C (2009) Understanding the business environment: inside and outside the organisation. Pearson Education. Harlow, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  10. Chawla L (1988) Children’s concern for the natural environment. Child Environ Q 5:13–20Google Scholar
  11. COM The European Commission (2015) Closing the loop – an EU action plan for the circular economy COM 2015/06149, Bryssels.
  12. Costanza R, Cumberland JH, Daly H, Goodland R, Norgaard RB, Kubiszewski I, Franco C (1997) An introduction to ecological economics. CRC Press. Boca Raton, USGoogle Scholar
  13. De Weck OL, Roos D, Magee CL (2011) Engineering systems: meeting human needs in a complex technological world. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dreyer B, Grønhaug K (2004) Uncertainty, flexibility, and sustained competitive advantage. J Bus Res 57(5): 484–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duncan RB (1972) Characteristics of organizational environments and perceived environmental uncertainty. Adm Sci Q 17:313–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edquist C, Hommen L (2000) Public technology procurement and innovation theory. In: Public technology procurement and innovation. Springer, New York, pp 5–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eurostat (2018) Statistics explained: SDG 12- responsible consumption and production. Cited 27.2.2018. Available at:
  18. Ferraro F, Pfeffer J, Sutton RI (2005) Economics language and assumptions: how theories can become self-fulfilling. Acad Manag Rev 30(1):8–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fransson N, Gärling T (1999) Environmental concern: conceptual definitions, measurement methods, and research findings. J Environ Psychol 19(4):369–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Freeman RE (1984) Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston, Mass: PitmanGoogle Scholar
  21. FSB TCFD (2017) Technical supplement: the use of scenario analysis in disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities.
  22. Gifford R, Nilsson A (2014) Personal and social factors that influence pro-environmental concern and behaviour: a review. Int J Psychol 49(3):141–157Google Scholar
  23. Grant RM (1996) Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic management journal 17(S2) 109–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Greening DW, Turban DB (2000) Corporate social performance as a competitive advantage in attracting a quality workforce. Bus Soc 39(3):254–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grossman GM, Krueger AB (1995) Economic growth and the environment. Q J Econ 110(2):353–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gunningham N, Kagan RA Thornton D(2004) Social license and environmental protection: why businesses go beyond compliance. Law & Social Inquiry 29(2):307–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gunn M, Mont O (2014) Choice editing as a retailers’ tool for sustainable consumption. Int J Retail Distrib Manag 42(6):464–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hart SL (1995) A natural-resource-based view of the firm. Acad Manag Rev 20(4):986–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. He G, Boas I, Mol AP, Lu Y (2016) E-participation for environmental sustainability in transitional urban China. Sustain Sci 12:1–16. Scholar
  30. Howard-Grenville J, Nash J, Coglianese C (2008) Constructing the license to operate: internal factors and their influence on corporate environmental decisions. Law Policy 30(1):73–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huss WR (1988) A move toward scenario analysis. Int J Forecast 4(3):377–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jackson T (2009) Prosperity without growth: economics for a finite planet. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  33. Jansson M, Biel A (2011) Motives to engage in sustainable investment: a comparison between institutional and private investors. Sustain Dev 19(2):135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kassinis G, Vafeas N (2006) Stakeholder pressures and environmental performance. Acad Manag J 49(1):145–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kemmelmeier M, Krol G, Kim YH (2002) Values, economics, and proenvironmental attitudes in 22 societies. Cross-Cult Res 36(3):256–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Khurana R (2007) From higher aims to hired hands: the social transformation of American business Schools and the unfulfilled promise of management education. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  37. Klineberg SL, McKeever M, Rothenbach B (1998) Demographic predictors of environmental concern: it does make a difference how it's measured. Soc Sci Q 79:734–753Google Scholar
  38. Korhonen J, Honkasalo A, Seppälä J (2018) Circular economy: the concept and its limitations. Ecological economics 143:37–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kurucz EC, Colbert BA, Marcus J (2014) Sustainability as a provocation to rethink management education: Building a progressive educative practice. Management Learning 45(4):437–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lindström M, Attila M, Ihalainen T, Kohl T, Pennanen J, Sahivirta E, Secci D (2003) Energy efficiency in environmental permits. Finnish Environment Institute, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  41. Lock I, Seele P (2016) Theorizing stakeholders of sustainability in the digital age. Sustain Sci 12:1–11. Scholar
  42. Loorbach D, Wijsman K (2013) Business transition management: exploring a new role for business in sustainability transitions. J Clean Prod 45:20–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marcus J, Kurucz EC, Colbert BA (2010) Conceptions of the business-society-nature interface: implications for management scholarship. Bus Soc 49(3):402–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mosakowski E, McKelvey B (1997) Predicting rent generation in competence-based competition. Competence-based strategic management, vol 65, pp 65–85. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  45. Norgaard K, York R (2005) Gender equality and state environmentalism. Gend Soc 19(4):506–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2011) The economic significance of natural resources: key points for reformers in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. OECD Publishing, ParisGoogle Scholar
  47. Parmar BL, Freeman RE, Harrison JS, Wicks AC, Purnell L, De Colle S (2010) Stakeholder theory: the state of the art. Acad Manag Ann 4(1):403–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Peattie K, Charter M (2003) Green marketing. The marketing book, vol 5, pp 726–755. Butterworth-Heinemann, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  49. Porter ME, Millar VE (1985) How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard Bus Rev 63(4):149–160Google Scholar
  50. Porter ME, Porter MP (1998) Location, clusters, and the “new” microeconomics of competition. Bus Econ 33:7–13Google Scholar
  51. Renwick DW, Redman T, Maguire S (2013) Green human resource management: a review and research agenda. Int J Manag Rev 15(1):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson Å, Chapin III FS, Lambin E, … Nykvist B (2009) Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecol Soc 14(2):32Google Scholar
  53. Seele P, Lock I (2017) The game-changing potential of digitalization for sustainability: possibilities, perils, and pathways. Sustain Sci 12(2):183–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Senge PM, Smith B, Kruschwitz N, Laur J, Schley S (2008) The necessary revolution: how individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. Crown Business. New York, USGoogle Scholar
  55. Shetzer L, Stackman RW, Moore LF (1991) Business-environment attitudes and the new environmental paradigm. J Environ Educ 22(4):14–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Steffen W, Richardson K, Rockström J, Cornell SE, Fetzer I, Bennett EM et al (2015) Planetary boundaries: guiding human development on a changing planet. Science 347(6223):1259855Google Scholar
  57. Steg L, Vlek C (2009) Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: an integrative review and research agenda. J Environ Psychol 29(3):309–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tariq S, Jan FA, Ahmad MS (2016) Green employee empowerment: a systematic literature review on state-of-art in green human resource management. Qual Quant 50(1):237–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thaler RH, Sunstein CR (2008) Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  60. Vachon S, Klassen RD (2008) Environmental management and manufacturing performance: the role of collaboration in the supply chain. Int J Prod Econ 111(2):299–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wells NM, Lekies KS (2006) Nature and the life course: pathways from childhood nature experiences to adult environmentalism. Child Youth Environ 16(1):1–24Google Scholar
  62. Worthington I, Britton C (2006) The business environment, 5th edn. Pearson Education, HarlowGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of Industrial Engineering and ManagementTampere UniversityTampereFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ulla Saari
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Industrial Management, Center for Innovation and Technology ResearchTampere UniversityTampereFinland