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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Juyoung Lee

Juyoung LeeJuyoung Lee
Brown University

Organizational Characteristics And Environmental Outcomes: Hierarchical And Geographic Positions Of Corporate Establishments In Large Chemical Manufacturing Firms.

This study examines the environmental outcomes of large firms' corporate establishments with emphasis on their organizational characteristics. Empirically, it analyzes 71 chemical manufacturing companies and their more than 20,000 corporate establishments in the US. Among several organizational characteristics, I highlight the hierarchical and geographic positions of corporate establishments within the company in the light of two prevailing systems of large companies, i.e., organizational hierarchization and geographic diversification. My multilevel statistical analysis demonstrated that corporate establishments that are hierarchically and geographically distant from their headquarter companies were more likely to take charge of industrial activities that cause pollution. With respect to environmental performance, higher levels of chemical hazards were generated in industrial plants that occupied lower levels in the corporate hierarchy. In addition, non-local plants operating in strong environmental states presented greater environmental hazards than local firms because of the negligible effects of state-level environmental policies on these non-local plants.


Juyoung Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of urban, political, and organizational sociology. In her dissertation project, she examines how the political economy shapes the distribution of toxic chemicals from industrial facilities across U.S. neighborhoods. In particular, one of her research questions concerns how the hierarchical and geographic restructuring of firm's business activities, in conjunction with neighborhood characteristics and state governments' environmental policies, shapes the environmental performance of polluting plants. Her dissertation research project has been awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in 2014. Before coming to Brown, she received a BA in 2005 and MA in 2007 from Korea University, where she studied sociology. She also worked as an assistant researcher for the Korean Women's Development Institute from 2007 to 2010.