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Towards a green economy through innovations: The role of trade union involvement

Davide Antonioli () and Massimiliano Mazzanti ()

Ecological Economics, 2017, vol. 131, issue C, 286-299

Abstract: In this paper, we address the overlooked issue of whether and how industrial relations might play a role in the process of greening the economy, primarily through the levers of innovation adoption and organisational change. We address our objective econometrically, assessing the quality of industrial relations as a driver of environmental innovation adoption, through the use of micro-data on manufacturing firms. The results yield two interesting main findings: being a unionised firm is not associated with the adoption of environmental innovation; however, when we consider the industrial relations climate, we observe a positive relationship between a cooperative industrial relations climate (union involvement) and the propensity to introduce environmental innovation. Two models are relevant: a managerially oriented model (unions are informed) and a participatory model (unions bargain on innovation adoption). The contents of environmental innovations are also important: union involvement is more relevant for adopting more complex and radical innovations to abate CO2 and EMS and ISO practices.

Keywords: Environmental innovation; Unions; Firms; Manufacturing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O33 L6 J5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.09.003

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