Changing corporate attitudes towards environmental policy

Faulkner, David; Carlisle, Ysanne M. and Viney, Howard P. (2005). Changing corporate attitudes towards environmental policy. Management of Environmental Quality, 16(5) pp. 476–489.



Purpose – To report findings from an updated survey of environmental policy and practice among UK organizations. To draw conclusions about the relationship between environmental concerns and organizational strategy making.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports findings from a 1999 survey of 911 UK organizations, updated by interviews conducted with participant organizations in 2004. The paper represents an extension of a ten-year longitudinal study of environmental policy and practice in UK organizations.

Findings – The gap between policy formulation and implementation in the environmental area has continued to narrow, but environmental concerns appear not to have moved towards the centre of the strategy making process in many firms. Organizations are still primarily influenced by short-term rather than long-term imperatives, and although recognition of opportunity offered by the environment is increasing, organizations are still liable to adopt a reactive position, increasingly so as the size of the organization decreases.

Research limitations/implications – It offers a contribution to the debate over the ongoing relationship between organizational strategy and environmental factors as a determinant of organizational strategy. It locates the debate in the wider discussion of determinants of organizational strategy.

Practical implications – It highlights the complex decision-making processes facing managers in satisfying a variety of stakeholders who may be making competing demands of their organization.

Originality/value – The paper offers a longitudinal review of changes to environmental policy and practice among UK organizations, providing an opportunity to explore the nature of change over a ten-year period.

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