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Environmental Regulation, Environmental Commitment, Sustainability Exploration/Exploitation Innovation, and Firm Sustainable Development

Xinpeng Xing (), Tiansen Liu (), Jianhua Wang (), Lin Shen () and Yue Zhu ()
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Xinpeng Xing: School of Business, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
Tiansen Liu: School of Economics and Management, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
Jianhua Wang: School of Business, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
Lin Shen: School of Business, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
Yue Zhu: School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 21, 1-20

Abstract: The links among firms’ environmental regulation, innovation process, and sustainable development has been analyzed, but a research gap still remains in terms of environmental commitment and different types of sustainable innovation in firms’ sustainability. Through collecting a dataset of 380 valid respondents from Chinese manufacturing firms, this paper incorporates evironmental regulation, environmental commitment, sustainability exploration innovation, sustainability exploitation innovation, environmental performance, and business performance into a multiple mediating effect model. Our key emperical findings are as follows: (1) Environmental regulation not only cannot affect environmental performance and business performance, but also cannot affect the two types of firm performance through sustainability exploration innovation or sustainability exploitation innovation; (2) The relationship between environmental regulation, environmental performance (or business performance) is subsequently mediated by both environmental commitment and sustainability exploitation innovation; (3) Environmental regulation does not affect environmental performance (or business performance) through environmental commitment and sustainability exploration innovation. These results do, however, support the Porter Hypothesis in terms of revealing a new multiple mediating effect path dominated by environmental commitment and sustainability exploitation innovation. Our findings can provide a better understanding of how environmental commitment and sustainability exploitation innovation play a key effect in helping firms relieve the pressure from environmental regulation, and thus improve their environmental management while keeping their competitive edge.

Keywords: environmental regulation; environmental commitment; sustainability exploration innovation; sustainability exploitation innovation; Porter Hypothesis; Chinese manufacturing firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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