Enhancing corporate sustainable development: Stakeholder pressures, organizational learning, and green innovation

Zhang, F, Zhu, L. (2019). “Enhancing corporate sustainable development: Stakeholder pressures, organizational learning, and green innovation.” Business Strategy and the Environment 1– 15. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2298

Abstract: Green innovation has become the main path toward achieving corporate sustainable development. Despite the centrality of organizational learning in firms pursuing green activities, little research has considered its role in the relationship between stakeholder pressures and green innovation. By combining stakeholder theory and organizational learning theory, this study explores whether environmental pressures from different stakeholders influence green innovation differently and how this is further mediated by organizational learning.

From a sample of 259 Chinese manufacturing firms, we find that consumer pressure has a greater positive effect on green product innovation than regulation pressure, whereas regulation pressure is more positively related to green process innovation than consumer pressure. Moreover, these two relationships are partially mediated by exploration learning and exploitation learning, respectively.

These findings advance the existing research on the stakeholder pressures–green innovation linkage by revealing that consumer and regulation pressures influence green product innovation and green process innovation differently and through different organizational learning approaches.

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