Resourcing corporate environmental strategy: Behavioral and resource-based perspectives

Frances Bowen, Sanjay Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We draw on the behavioral and resource-based theories of the firm, and corporate environmental strategy to address which types of firm resources are most useful for corporate environmental strategy. We propose a conceptual framework which differentiates resources based on their degree of complexity, tacitness and specificity, and a continuum of corporate environmental strategies from pollution control to sustainable development. Our framework explains how a firm's feasible corporate environmental strategy choices are at least partly determined by their resource endowment. We argue that available slack resources, while not usually considered within resource-based approaches to corporate environmental strategy, can be useful for implementing reactive corporate environmental strategies such as pollution control and prevention. Strategic resource and capability bundles can assist in incremental strategies such as pollution prevention and product stewardship. Dynamic capabilities are required for the most proactive corporate environmental strategy, sustainable development. Our framework also illustrates the importance of resource endowments in feeding inertia and inhibiting proactive corporate environmental strategies. In particular, firms can use available slack as a buffer to avoid the implementation of both product stewardship and sustainable development strategies, and can find that lock-in to strategic resource and capability bundles can inhibit sustainable development. We conclude with a discussion of implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Event65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 200510 Aug 2005


  • Behavioral theory of the firm
  • Corporate environmental strategy
  • Resource-based view (RBV)

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