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Pollution prevention as corporate entrepreneurship

Douglas J. Lober (Duke University School of Environment and School of Business, Durham, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 February 1998



Environmental entrepreneurship is usually thought of as the creation of new products or services to meet environmental market opportunities. Pollution prevention is a new concept of the idea of environmental entrepreneurship as it is process based and focused on reducing costs rather than increasing revenues. As such, it is consistent both with the notion of entrepreneurship as a new venture and as a self‐renewal of the whole organization. The central research question this study seeks to answer is: why have firms done so little pollution prevention given its many benefits? Using the entrepreneurship literature as a framework, this study examines threats and opportunities of pollution prevention, the marshaling of combinations of resources to pursue it, and barriers to achieving it. The data for this study are collected through content analysis of environmental information contained in voluntary environmental reports issued by companies. The study finds that corporations do not widely view pollution prevention as an opportunity ‐ either as new venture or as self‐renewal. Furthermore, the potential benefits of pollution prevention are not frequently recognized. Finally, corporations do not identify the factors that prevent or allow the marshaling of resources to exploit this potential opportunity. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.



Lober, D.J. (1998), "Pollution prevention as corporate entrepreneurship", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 26-37.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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