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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Eunice Ng

Nanyang Technological University Singapore

Compare, or else contrast: A behavioral approach to corporate environmental behavior


Institutional theory posits that institutional actors will isomorph into similar forms and structures through the coercive, normative and mimetic mechanisms. The coercive mechanism provides an explicit standard of behavior expected of firms. On the other hand, the normative and mimetic mechanisms are more complex in that firms engage in cognitive processes to understand the norms and behaviors of other firms. We integrate the behavioral theory of the firm and social comparison theory in understanding how firms decide on their extent of environmental action. Our findings show a significant effect between firms with environmental damage greater than their peers and their subsequent corporate environmental spending. We also find support that firms with superior environmental performance relative to their peers will engage in subsequent corporate cooperative behaviors. In addition, we found support that the extent of comparison that a firm engages in is a boundary condition for these relationships. 


Eunice SQ Ng is a PhD candidate at the Division of Strategy, Management and Organization in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interests lies in the intersection of behavioral strategy and corporate sustainability. Her current works consider the influence of social psychology, as well as managerial values and cognition, on corporate environmental outcomes. Other projects of hers take on a corporate governance perspective, which include investigating the role of the board of directors on corporate environmental performance. Her works have been presented at several conferences, such as the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting, GRONEN research conference, and the Sustainability, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship research conference. Prior to joining the PhD program, she was an audit senior at Ernst & Young LLP focusing on the luxury retail and manufacturing industries, and currently is a Chartered Accountant of Singapore.

Eunice Ng

Eunice Ng

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