From Compliance With Environmental Regulations To Pursuit Of Environmental-Based Competitive Advantages: Mediators Of The Relationship In A SME Context

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Karen Delchet-Cochet
Linh-Chi Vo
Hakim Akeb


SME, Mediator, Environmental Compliance, Environmental-Based Competitiveness


Despite the huge amount of work written about environmental practices of SMEs, what continues in the debate is the relationship between their two motivations for environmental protection: the push motivation of environmental regulation compliance and the pull motivation of pursuing competitive advantages based on the environmental protection agenda in a win-win logic. Some scholars state that environmental regulation compliance motivates SMEs to pursue opportunities that they would miss otherwise, while others claim that the conformity to regulations results in mere compliance behavior. Thus, we contribute to the literature by probing the intervening variables to uncover when and how SMEs move from a push to a pull motivation. Within the scope of our study, we consider environmental regulations that are voluntary-oriented; we also focus on the pursuit of competitiveness that is based on the development of environmental-friendly products/services. The mediators that we examine include: market expansion, monitoring of business activities, innovative capacity, and adoption of environmental behavior of suppliers. We conduct our investigation among 161 French SMEs in 2011.


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