Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 361–379 | Cite as

Environmental Protection in Environmentally Reactive Firms: Lessons from Corporate Argentina

  • Catherine Liston-Heyes
  • Diego Alfonso Vazquez Brust


We propose a model of planned corporate environmental behaviour that emphasises the values and attitudes of managers towards the environment, environmental intentions and the context in which these intentions are formed and translated into actual performance. In particular, we focus on the extent to which environmentally reactive (as oppose to pro-active) managers influence the environmental performance of their firms. We identify the factors that mitigate or accentuate the effects of environmental “reactivism”—i.e. a mind-set shared by those who assign to the state the responsibility of protecting the environment. We generate a series of hypotheses and use structural equation modelling to test them in the context of a unique dataset of Argentinean firms. Our system’s approach to corporate environmental behaviour explains approximatively 70 % of the variation in reported environmental performance across firms while highlighting elements of the model that may potentially be influenced by policy. Amongst other things, our empirical results suggest that stakeholder pressures can be an effective tool in the development of pro-environmental attitudes (and environmental intentions in the case of small firms) and in so doing offset some of the negative effects of environmental reactivism on environmental performance. Our paper highlights a number of other important implications for the design and implementation of environmental policies that account for human managerial determinants of corporate behaviour and social factors.


Argentina Environmental attitude Environmental behaviour Environmental management systems Environmental reactivism Structural equation modelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Liston-Heyes
    • 1
  • Diego Alfonso Vazquez Brust
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Management, Royal Holloway CollegeUniversity of LondonSurreyUK

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