Origins of green innovations: The differences between proactive and reactive green innovations

Yu Shan Chen*, Ching Hsun Chang, Feng Shang Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the origins of the two types of green innovations: proactive and reactive green innovations. Design/methodology/approach: In order to satisfy the essence of the triangulation in methodology, this study applies a hybrid research method which includes both qualitative and quantitative research to discuss the origins of green innovations based on the two following stages. First, the study uses inductive logic from the perspectives of case study research and grounded theory to build the research framework and selects AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), the worldwide top three manufacturer in the TFT-LCD industry, as the research object. Second, the study utilizes a questionnaire survey method to test the research framework proposed in the first stage. Findings: This study divides green innovations into two types: proactive and reactive green innovations, because their origins are different. The results show that both of the internal origins - environmental leadership, environmental culture, and environmental capability and the external origins - the environmental regulations and the environmentalism of investors and clients - can generate reactive green innovation. However, only the internal origins can facilitate proactive green innovation. This study suggests that companies should invest their resources in cultivating the internal origins rather than the external origins. Originality/value: The paper provides insights into what origins cause proactive and reactive green innovations by means of hybrid research method - qualitative and quantitative research - in Taiwan. This study builds up a theory about the origins of the two types of green innovations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-398
Number of pages31
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental management
  • Environmental organization
  • Green innovation
  • Innovation
  • Proactive green innovation
  • Reactive green innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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