Necessity as the mother of 'green' inventions: Institutional pressures and environmental innovations

Pascual Berrone, Andrea Fosfuri, Liliana Gelabert, Luis R. Gomez-Mejia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

884 Scopus citations


Drawing on institutional theory and innovation literature, we argue that greater regulatory and normative pressures concerning environmental issues positively influence companies' propensity to engage in environmental innovation. Analysis of environment-related patents of 326 publicly traded firms from polluting industries in the United States suggests that institutional pressures can trigger such innovation, especially in those firms displaying a greater deficiency gap (i.e., firms polluting relatively more than their industry peers). Moreover, we find that this effect is stronger when asset specificity is high, and that the availability of resources plays different roles depending on the type of pressures (regulatory vs. normative).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-909
Number of pages19
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • environmental innovation
  • institutional theory
  • normative pressures
  • regulatory pressures
  • resource-based view

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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