Regulation, Business, and Sustainable Development: The Management of Environmentally Conscious Technological Innovation Under Alternative Market Conditions

EPA Grant Number: R824748
Title: Regulation, Business, and Sustainable Development: The Management of Environmentally Conscious Technological Innovation Under Alternative Market Conditions
Investigators: Sharfman, Mark , Ellington, Rex , Meo, Mark
Institution: University of Oklahoma
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1997 (Extended to March 31, 1999)
Project Amount: $244,955
RFA: Incentives and Impediments to Pollution Prevention (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


The goals of this research are to advance our theoretical understanding of the development and adoption/diffusion of environmentally conscious, or "green," technological innovation in order to improve technology management in the firm, as well as increase the likelihood that firms will be able to successfully adopt these innovations. The specific thrust of the research is to explore the strategic, organizational, and innovation implications of different environmental regulatory regimes on corporations through case-study analysis and survey research. A theoretical framework using learning and institutional theory has been developed will be used as the basis of the study. We will conduct an in-depth examination of the management of environmentally conscious technological innovation at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which has agreed to serve as the corporate partner in this effort. The results from the in-depth analysis of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company will be used to develop a survey instrument that will be administered using multiple respondents to a sample of other manufacturers who have made environmental management a major priority. Through this multiple respondent survey, we hope to generalize our results to a larger, more representative group of firms.

The objectives of the research elements to reach the goals are to: 1) refine our theoretical framework that explains the management of technological innovation when subject to different levels of environmental regulation; 2) conduct several case studies of environmentally conscious technological innovations at Du Pont and Conoco that explore the relative influence of environmental regulation on innovation. Case studies will be undertaken in areas that range from a high level of environmental regulation (e.g., CFC substitutes and reformulated gasoline), to areas subject to a lower level of regulation (e.g., polymers, fibers); 3) refine the theoretical framework through in-depth interviews at Du Pont facilities and test the theory through survey data collection at Du Pont, its customers, its regulators, and its suppliers; 4) further refine the survey instrument based on the results of the first survey and administer it to a broad sample of manufacturers for whom environmental management is a stated priority; and 5) develop a management tool that can be used by corporate decision makers as a guide for practical management of innovation that is subject to environmental regulation.

The expected outputs of the study will be case studies of environmentally friendly technological applications, a decision tool with which managers can improve their environmentally friendly technological innovation efforts and scholarly articles describing the tests of the model discussed above. The study has been designed to yield results that both improve the practice of environmentally friendly technological innovation and to extend our knowledge of the theoretical issues involved.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 8 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Economics, Corporate Performance, Social Science, behavioral effects, corporate decision making, environmental performance, cleaner production, sustainable development, Dupont, waste minimization, waste reduction, case studies, incentives, industrial ecology, alternative market conditions, Conoco, pollution prevention, regulations, technology research, corporate culture, corporate environmental behavior, alternative market condition

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997 Progress Report
  • 1998
  • Final Report