Stimulating environmental management performance. Towards a contingency approach

D.J. Haverkamp, H.J. Bremmers, S.W.F. Omta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This article aims to provide an analysis of the joint impact of the business network and the company's internal resources on the level of environmental management (EM) deployment. Design/methodology/approach – Correlation, regression and cluster analyses of data gathered in 2005 in the Dutch food and drink (F&D) industry were carried out. Findings – The deployment of managerial capabilities that support ecological modernization (such as supply chain cooperation and network information exchange, or product-redesign) in the Dutch F&D industry is low. The results show that different company profiles are connected with specific drivers and barriers for environmental pro-activeness. Prospector companies (a minority) are more pro-active with respect to environmental capability building than defenders. Research limitations/implications – Comparative longitudinal studies of environmental management drivers in subsectors could improve the understanding of the factors that stimulate environmental performance. Practical implications – Optimism that industry will enhance EM-performance through radical market-induced innovation is misplaced. Instead, a contingency approach is in place. Public environmental policy with respect to the F&D industry should be adjusted to discernable managerial patterns and categories of companies. Voluntary cooperation, self-governance, and market-induced environmental innovation are only effective with respect to a minority of the companies. Originality/value – The research opposes the existing foundation of public environmental policy on generic attributes assigned to the whole F&D-industry and, consequently, of generic policies to improve environmental management performance. A differentiation of public policy should be based on the understanding of the drivers of managerial behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1251
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • ecological modernization
  • stakeholder management
  • dynamic capabilities
  • strategic management
  • self-regulation
  • industry
  • sustainability
  • competence
  • firm
  • perspective

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