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Multinational Corporations and Emissions Trading:: Strategic Responses to New Institutional Constraints


  • Pinkse, Jonatan
  • Kolk, Ans


Although the Kyoto Protocol intended to implement emissions trading globally, this has so far been impossible. As a result, particularly Multinational Corporations (MNCs) currently face a wide variety of emissions trading schemes that differ in scope and enforcement, thus creating divergent levels of institutional constraints across locations. This article sheds light on the implications of these new constraints for MNCs, and also explores their responses to emissions trading schemes in terms of (perceived) opportunities to (re)shape the institution. Findings on strategic responses of Global 500 companies expose the constraints of particularly the EU emissions trading scheme, as well as the opportunities being explored or already exploited in various ways in this scheme and other emerging ones. Based on these findings the article proposes a framework that discerns four scenarios in which MNCs can find themselves: institutional conformist, institutional evader, institutional entrepreneur and institutional arbitrageur.

Suggested Citation

  • Pinkse, Jonatan & Kolk, Ans, 2007. "Multinational Corporations and Emissions Trading:: Strategic Responses to New Institutional Constraints," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 441-452, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:25:y:2007:i:6:p:441-452

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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Aguilera-Caracuel & Juan Aragón-Correa & Nuria Hurtado-Torres & Alan Rugman, 2012. "The Effects of Institutional Distance and Headquarters’ Financial Performance on the Generation of Environmental Standards in Multinational Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(4), pages 461-474, February.
    2. Stål, Herman I. & Bonnedahl, Karl J. & Eriksson, Jessica, 2014. "The challenge of introducing low-carbon industrial practices: Institutional entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 203-215.
    3. Venmans, Frank, 2012. "A literature-based multi-criteria evaluation of the EU ETS," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5493-5510.
    4. Darmani, Anna, 2015. "Renewable energy investors in Sweden: A cross-subsector analysis of dynamic capabilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 46-57.
    5. Natalie Slawinski & Jonatan Pinkse & Timo Busch & Subhabrata Bobby Banerjeed, 2014. "The role of short-termism and uncertainty in organizational inaction on climate change: multilevel framework," Working Papers hal-00961226, HAL.
    6. Jon Skjærseth, 2013. "Governance by EU emissions trading: resistance or innovation in the oil industry?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 31-48, March.
    7. Sarasini, Steven, 2013. "Institutional work and climate change: Corporate political action in the Swedish electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 480-489.
    8. repec:kap:jbuset:v:145:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2854-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Boutinot, Amélie & Mangematin, Vincent, 2013. "Surfing on institutions: When temporary actors in organizational fields respond to institutional pressures," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 626-641.
    10. repec:hal:journl:hal-00835257 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ans Kolk & Jonatan Pinkse, 2012. "Multinational enterprises and climate change strategies," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00835257, HAL.
    12. Burkard Eberlein & Dirk Matten, 2009. "Business Responses to Climate Change Regulation in Canada and Germany: Lessons for MNCs from Emerging Economies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 241-255, March.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1928-:d:116275 is not listed on IDEAS


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