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Social networks and the implementation of environmental technology

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2 Author(s)
Johnston, D.A. ; Schulich Sch. of Bus., York Univ., Toronto, Ont., Canada ; Linton, J.D.

A study of 83 firms in the North American electronics industry that have implemented environmentally “clean” process technology found that social networks have a significant positive impact on implementation success. This paper presents evidence that some types of social networks influence implementation success more than others. More specifically, interfirm networks composed of both suppliers and competitors were significantly correlated with the routinization and incorporation of alternative technical solutions to reducing ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This only held in situations where the complexity of the implementation was relatively high. Intrafirm and local social networks were not significant. The utilization of a network of publicly accessible sources of information and expertise had a negative impact. Brief case studies from field research are provided to help explain these results

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 4 )