Issue framing and environmental performance: The moderating effect of board age

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Do firms conceive of imperatives to improve their environmental performance as threats to their current activities or as opportunities to do things in better and more sustainable ways? What role does the age of firms’ boards play in how environmental issues are interpreted and responded to? In this study, we address these questions by drawing on theories of managerial cognition and issue interpretation. Specifically, we theorize the role of threat and opportunity framings on corporate environmental performance and examine the role of board age as a critical moderator. We find that significant environmental performance improvements of firms with older boards are more likely to arise when they perceive of material physical and regulatory climate risks. Improvements in the environmental performance of younger boards, in contrast, is more likely to be provoked by a recognition of significant opportunities associated with the climate crisis. Thus, we show that board age plays a critical role in how environmental risks and opportunities are responded to. Given the ageing of working populations in many societies, these findings are of potentially significant importance to the achievement of a transition to a low carbon economy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number of pages6
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2020: Understanding the Inclusive Organization, AoM 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020

Conference

Conference80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2020: Understanding the Inclusive Organization, AoM 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/08/2011/08/20

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