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How do firms achieve sustainability through green innovation under external pressures of environmental regulation and market turbulence?

Lu Qiu, Die Hu and Yu Wang

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2020, vol. 29, issue 6, 2695-2714

Abstract: Analyses in the fields of environmental and innovation research have hindered our understanding of the real effects of external drivers of firms' green innovation and sustainability behaviors on financial performance. This study compares the ways in which two different external factors drive firms to be green innovative: environmental regulation and market turbulence. By dividing green innovation into green process innovation and green product innovation, we propose that environmental regulation increases financial performance mainly through green process innovation rather than through green product innovation, and market turbulence affects financial performance mainly through green product innovation rather than through green process innovation. The results of an empirical analysis based on a mediation model and panel data on 472 Chinese listed firms for 2006–2017 lend support to our hypotheses. Our study contributes to the green innovation management and sustainability literature by offering a holistic framework for examining how firms pursue green innovation and sustainability in response to two different forms of external pressure.

Date: 2020
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