For Wineries, Competition Boosts Profits From Sustainability
This study explains how managers’ perceptions of pressure from competitors and industry associations to adopt environmental practices are associated with the adoption of such practices, and firm performance in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in fragmented industries. First, we hypothesize, in fragmented industries, perceived weaker competitive pressure focuses SME managers’ attention on opportunities associated with the adoption of environmental practices, resulting in further adoption of such practices. We also hypothesize that perceived stronger competitive pressure focuses managers’ attention on competitive threats and efforts to maximize value creation from adopted practices, thus, positively moderating the relationship between adopted environmental practices and financial performance. We test our hypotheses with survey data from wineries and vineyards in Italy, France, Denmark, and the United States, and find support for both hypotheses. These findings deepen our understanding of how SMEs in fragmented industries respond to perceived competitive pressure to adopt environmental practices.