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Journal Article

Profiting from Environmental Regulatory Uncertainty: Integrated Strategies for Competitive Advantage

Adam R. Fremeth and Brian K. Richter
California Management Review
Vol. 54, No. 1, Special Issue: Environmental Management and Regulatory Uncertainty (Fall 2011), pp. 145-165
DOI: 10.1525/cmr.2011.54.1.145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/cmr.2011.54.1.145
Page Count: 21
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Profiting from Environmental Regulatory Uncertainty
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Abstract

This article offers two integrated strategies managers can use in the face of environmental regulatory uncertainty. As integrated strategies, they both recognize non-market forces while taking into account market realities. Advocating for pragmatic, progressive policies enables firms to shape future policy around existing environmental strengths; this strategy raises competitors’ costs when competitors have yet to develop identical competencies. Systematically embracing advancing regulation enables firms to satisfy activists who are pressuring policymakers to force firms to conform to higher environmental standards in other jurisdictions; this strategy allows managers to adapt to coming regulation at their own pace while leveraging market competencies. This article presents four case studies that highlight how some firms have implemented these strategies, and why some have been successful at mitigating regulatory uncertainty and some have not.

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