See What We Want to See? The Effects of Managerial Experience on Corporate Green Investments

Research paper by Birte Schaltenbrand, Kai Foerstl, Arash Azadegan, Kevin Lindeman

Indexed on: 10 May '16Published on: 09 May '16Published in: Journal of Business Ethics


How impartial are managerial decisions? This question is particularly concerning when it comes to making green investment decisions in the face of stakeholder pressures. When managers respond to stakeholder pressures, their personal cognition, judgment, and past experiences play a role in determining their responses. The salience of particular stakeholder claims may be determined by deeply rooted individual preferences. This research investigates how a manager’s past experiences can influence green investments. Data are gathered from 247 managers about their past experience and their employer’s performance data. These data are combined with managerial responses to a vignette-based experiment, which required managers to make green investments based on a decision scenario where they are exposed to different types and strength of stakeholder pressure (from consumers and the community). Results suggest that managers’ years of experience, their employers’ financial performance, and their employers’ market performance influence investment decisions even when making decisions under new and different set of circumstances. While the employers’ financial performance influences managers to invest more, the employers’ market performance only influences managers’ investment in the presence of either high consumer or high community pressure. Compared to less-experienced managers, experienced managers invest more in response to consumer pressure but less in response to community pressure. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings in green management are explored.