The Diffusion of Voluntary Environmental Programs: The Case of ISO 14001 in Korea, 1996–2011

Kyungmin Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the adoption of ISO 14001, which is known as the most famous voluntary environmental program. The data of this paper pertain to Korean [Throughout this paper, Korea refers to the Republic of Korea (South Korea)] firms in manufacturing industries from 1996 to 2011. Event-history modeling to examine firms’ adoption of ISO 14001 finds that both resource-based factors and institutional factors have influenced the diffusion of ISO 14001 in Korea. By exploring time-related effects, I also find that while resource-based factors are important in the early periods of the diffusion, institutional factors become important in the later periods of the diffusion. This confirms the findings of previous studies that a firm’s motivation to adopt organizational policies varies according to different diffusion periods. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of what this study tells us about the institutional context of ISO 14001 in Korea and Asia more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 5 2017


  • ISO 14001
  • Institutional theory
  • Korea
  • Resource-based view

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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