Stage models of corporate 'greening': a critical evaluation

Schaefer, Anja and Harvey, Brian (1998). Stage models of corporate 'greening': a critical evaluation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 7(3) pp. 109–123.



Corporate ‘greening’, i.e. the process by which companies can become more environmentally responsible in their operations, has attracted considerable interest lately. Largely born out of hands-on consultancy experience, various models have been proposed which describe a series of ‘stages’ by which companies become progressively more environmentally conscious and reduce their impact on the natural environment. The present article critically analyses some of these ‘stage’ models of corporate ‘greening’ from both an empirical and a management theoretical point of view. The empirical analysis is based on four case studies of the ‘greening’ efforts of companies in the UK water and electricity industries. Environmental strategy and management in these companies is found to fit poorly into the stage models of corporate ‘greening’. The article concludes that more comprehensive and interpretative explanations of organizational ‘greening’ are needed, including contextual and process oriented analysis.

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