Institutional settlement and the adoption of sustainable Technologies: The case of biofuels

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This paper examines the institutional factors that determine the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies, drawing upon the example of the nascent renewable energy industry of biofuels. One of such factors cited in the economic and organization literature is corruption. We argue that the political power of the actors and the institutional settlement in the field between politically powerful actors plays a more important role in influencing the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies than the level of corruption. Methodologically, the paper combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches. First, using qualitative evidence from Ukraine and Germany, it explores the role that corruption in a country plays in adopting environmental policies. In the quantitative stage of the analysis, it uses country level data to test whether corruption is a confounding variable for the adoption of alternative energy sources, and if the use of alternative fuels is associated with the level of institutional settlement among the dominant players. The findings suggest that the power of institutional actors in initiating and promoting institutional change has a greater impact on the introduction and diffusion of environmental policies than the level of corruption in a society.

Publication Title

Academy of Management 2009 Annual Meeting: Green Management Matters, AOM 2009