Policy modes, firms and the natural environment

Prakash, A. and Kollman, K. (2004) Policy modes, firms and the natural environment. Business Strategy and the Environment, 13(2), pp. 107-128. (doi: 10.1002/bse.394)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bse.394


This paper examines how different environmental policy types differentially impact firms and why firms vary in their responses to such policies. Based on the mechanisms embedded in policy instruments to create incentives for firms to comply, the characteristics of benefits/costs that policies impose on firms and the institutional context in which policy instruments were created and are sustained, the paper identifies five policy categories. These are category I (command and control), category II (market based), category III (mandatory information disclosures), category IV (business–government partnerships) and category V (private voluntary codes). Different policy types often bestow asymmetrical benefits/costs on firms. Some benefits/costs may constitute ‘private/club goods’ while others may constitute ‘public goods’. Drawing insights from public policy literature, the paper argues that firms can be expected to favor policies whose benefits have the characteristics of private/club goods but the costs of public goods. Thus, understanding the nature of benefits/costs (private/club versus public) and the magnitude of their excludability is critical in explaining the variations in firms' responses. To understand how managers perceive the nature of benefits/costs (monetary as well as non-monetary), the paper draws on theories and perspectives in the business and public policy field. In doing so, the paper examines the ‘demand’ and the ‘supply’ sides as well as the market and non-market environments of a given policy. Thus, the paper makes a case for a multi-theoretic approach to understand variations in managerial assessments of benefits/costs, and consequently variations in their responses to various policy types.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kollman, Professor Kelly
Authors: Prakash, A., and Kollman, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Business Strategy and the Environment
ISSN (Online):1099-0836
Published Online:10 March 2004

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