Corporate Greening Is Work Agency and Action of Environmental Staff as Potential Determinants of Environmental Performance chad white · university of california, berkeley · GIN 2006
mid-2000s: Sustainability mid-1990s: EHS Source: Company A external reports
Factors Highlighting Environmental Staff Role corporate agenda-setting & self-determination • lack of resolution about who acts • who takes the leading role(s) routine assessment to represent performance • “You manage what you measure.” • how managed across an epistemological divide (mgmt v. specialists)
State of Corporate Greening Study To date our studies have focused… • more on outcomes, less on process (in situ) • more on whole organization (unitary view), less on groups or individuals (composite view) • more on managers, very little on operators
Questions Theoretical Question for Research • How does information enrichment (re)shape corporate practice and technology? Investigative Question for Interviews • How do you gather and make use of environmental information in your work (e.g., strategize and execution of initiatives)? • How do environmental staff engage (others) in environmental work?
Results • Types of Environmental Work • Variations in Organizational Forms • Modes of Intra-firm Interactions
Case Research: semiconductor sector • all mfr semiconductors as primary business • all US-based with global operations • vary in size from < 1000 to > 10,000 staff • all decentralized with env. staff at sites • all have EMSs and some degree of sustainability reporting • all have executives supportive or not hostile to environmental initiatives
more established & routine less developed, newer actors Results: Types of Environmental Work • Traditional: process-related legal and regulatory analysis, site audits, pollution control • Non-traditional: pollution prevention, waste minimization, resource conservation, chemical use reduction, and design for EHS • Nouveau: supply chain management, technology development, stakeholder communications, corporate governance
EHS Director Global Support Stewardship Product Ecology Site Mgr Site Mgr Site Mgr Sust. Devmt. Site Staff Site Staff Site Staff Corporate EHS Staff Matrix Results: Organizational Forms Board of Directors • Environmental dept under admin • Env staff in EHS still organized by site • Corporate functions formed by matrix • New functional groups emerging in EHS Chief Executive Corporate Officers Corporate Services Product Groups Manufacturing VP Computational VP Marketing Tech. Development VP** VP Sector-specific VP Human Res. Test & Assembly VP** VP Memory VP Outreach Fab VP** Legal GC* Facilities Memory Accounting VP Quality/Sales Fab VP** Design VP Real Estate Facilities EHS
Board of Directors Chief Executive Corporate Officers Corporate Services Product Groups Manufacturing VP Computational VP Marketing Tech. Development VP** VP Sector-specific VP Human Res. Test & Assembly VP** VP Memory VP Outreach Fab VP** Legal GC* VP Site Services Memory Accounting VP Quality/Sales EHS Design VP Real Estate Fab VP** “site” VP Facilities “site services” EHS Results: Organizational Forms • EHS – a unit through the Manufacturing chain of command • Combined Facilities (main partner) and EHS in “Site Services”
Board of Directors CEO COO VP of Mfg EHS Director EHS Manager (fab 1) EHS Manager (fab 2) EHS Manager (test & assembly) IH Safety Health Env. Results: New Organizational Forms example 1 example 2 Board of Directors CEO CXO EHS Director EHS Manager (fab 1) EHS Manager (fab 2) Environmental Product Group IH Safety Health Env.
= firm boundary = internal resources = environmental staff CXO Executive Committee Outreach Procurement Marketing Memory Products Group Site Services EHS Executive Committee Technology Development EHS Sector Products Group Fab Fab EHS Legal Test & Assembly Site Services Fab Site Services Corporate EHS Real Estate EHS Computational Products Group Finance Site Services EHS Accounting Human Resources
Specify Integrate Inform Embed = firm boundary = internal resources = environmental staff CXO Technical EHS Modes Executive Committee Outreach Outreach Executive Management Procurement Marketing Facilities Memory Products Group Site Services EHS Executive Committee Technology Development Mfg EHS Sector Products Group Fab Fab EHS Legal Legal Test & Assembly Site Services Product Group (Quality) Fab Site Services Corporate EHS Real Estate EHS Product Group (Design) Procurement Computational Products Group Finance Site Services EHS Marketing Accounting Human Resources Outreach
Technical EHS Modes Collaborative EHS Modes Reformulated EHS Modes Specify Integrate Inform Embed Team Up Co-Locate Identify Retrain Reframe Executive Management (n/a) Facilities Mfg Legal (n/a) Product Group (Quality) (no data) Product Group (Design) Procurement Marketing Outreach “superior” expertise: “inferior” “shared”
Theoretical Combination more hardened, fact-like expertise more contested, uncertain expertise Technical Collaborative Reformulated Traditional more established & routine • legal & regulatory analysis • pollution control • corporate governance • site audits Non-traditional • resource conservation • design for EHS • pollution prevention Nouveau less developed, more variable • supply chain management • technology development • product content • changes • stakeholder communications
Summary • Diversifying types of environmental work. • Work still rooted in EHS. Formal changes in corporate organization are staff diffusion. • New groups emerging formally within EHS. • Proactive environmental work heavily dependent on collaborative modes of staff interaction.
Potential Implications Potential explanatory variables: • Level of executive support: high, medium, low • Firm culture: degree of cooperation • Resources (slack) available Future Studies on Efficacy • What conditions affect the effectiveness of different interactive modes? • Do different types of staff agency help explain corporate environmental performance?