This paper investigates the impact of green technological distance (GTD) – environmental technological knowledge distance between the firm and the industry – on the adoption of proactive and reactive environmental strategies and whether this relationship is moderated by different manifestations of green structural capital, i.e. environmental incentives, senior environmental responsibilities and external environmental communication.Design/methodology/approachThe empirical analysis is conducted on a sample of 202 manufacturing companies from Spain. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the moderating effect of green structural capital.FindingsResults show that the role of green structural capital as guiding factor of the environmental response of the firm and organizational support to cope with the GTD between the firm and the industry is diverse and depends on the manifestation of green structural capital under analysis. The establishment of environmental incentives for managers and the presence of environmental information in the firm's external communications – as two expressions of green structural capital – show a different behavior when facing the environmental technological challenge, supporting environmental reactive and proactive strategies respectively. In addition, GTD increases the adoption of reactive environmental strategies, while it has no direct effect on the implementation of proactive environmental practices.Originality/valueUsing the novel construct of GTD and the analysis of a so far unstudied interaction, the study contributes to the literature on intellectual capital and environmental strategy considering the technical change associated to the environmental challenge. In so doing, it improves the understanding of the role of green structural capital as a guiding factor of the environmental response of the firm and organizational support to cope with the GTD between the firm and the industry.
Journal of Intellectual Capital – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 13, 2021
Keywords: Green technological distance; Environmental strategies; Green intellectual capital; Green structural capital
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