Institutional theories and resource-based views have suggested that, although they appear similar externally, standardized management systems may be implemented very differently in different organizations. This variability in implementation may be responsible for the heterogeneous performance of these standardized management systems. The current literature on the environmental impacts of ISO 14001 certification has largely neglected this phenomenon. Drawing on our survey of all US 14001 certificate holders, this study finds that great variability does exist in facilities’ implementation of ISO 14001 standards.


Haitao Yin, Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China and the Erb Institute.
Peter J. Schmeidler, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.