Do firm characteristics affect environmental sustainability? A literature review-based assessment

Article


Balasubramanian, S., Shukla, V., Mangla, S. and Chanchaichujit, J. 2021. Do firm characteristics affect environmental sustainability? A literature review-based assessment. Business Strategy and the Environment. 30 (2), pp. 1389-1416. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2692
TypeArticle
TitleDo firm characteristics affect environmental sustainability? A literature review-based assessment
AuthorsBalasubramanian, S., Shukla, V., Mangla, S. and Chanchaichujit, J.
Abstract

Combating environmental pollution and climate change mandates strong commitment and participation of all firms across sectors. However, the environmental conduct of firms is seen to vary as per their characteristics, especially their size, ownership, and age. Current understanding of these characteristics' influence on environmental sustainability is limited, fragmented, and scattered across the literature, which this study seeks to improve and contribute to. Based on a rigorous screening of the last 25 years' literature (1996–2020), the study develops a comprehensive understanding of firm characteristics' implications for environmental sustainability, namely, environmental practices implementation, environmental drivers, environmental barriers, and associated (environmental, cost/economic, operational, and organizational) performance implications. Several meaningful and generalizable trends, conflicts, and consensus, or lack thereof, are revealed. For instance, the extent of environmental practices' implementation can be seen to be greater at large firms' (vis‐à‐vis small ones) and at foreign firms' (vis‐à‐vis local ones), though not much difference is seen between old and new firms. Also, several metafactors such as resources availability, innovation propensity, and bureaucracy and organizational inertia are identified that explain the differential influence of firm characteristics on environmental sustainability and dispel erroneous stereotypes. Finally, gaps in the literature offering avenues for future research are highlighted along with implications for research, theory, and practice. Results are expected to help policymakers and practitioners develop policies/interventions that ensure all firms, irrespective of their characteristics contribute to environmental sustainability. A comprehensive review of this kind has not been previously undertaken and constitutes the novelty of this work.

Keywordsage; environmental sustainability; firm characteristics; ownership; size
LanguageEnglish
PublisherWiley
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
ISSN0964-4733
Electronic1099-0836
Publication dates
Online27 Nov 2020
Print01 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Dec 2020
Accepted12 Nov 2020
Submitted26 Jul 2020
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Balasubramanian, S, Shukla, V, Mangla, S, Chanchaichujit, J. Do firm characteristics affect environmental sustainability? A literature review‐based assessment. Bus Strat Env. 2021; 30: 1389– 1416. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2692. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2692
Web of Science identifierWOS:000592890700001
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