An Institutional Perspective on the Adoption of Green IS & IT

Adela J. Chen, Richard T. Watson, Marie-Claude Boudreau, Elena Karahanna


This article examines how institutional pressures affect the adoption of green IS & IT across organizations. From the natural-resource-based perspective, it examines green IS & IT practices with strategic foci on pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development. Each category incorporates the separate roles played by IT (as a problem) and IS (as a solution). The partial least square method was employed to analyze the survey replies from 75 organizations. The results show that mimetic and coercive pressures significantly drive green IS & IT adoption. In particular, outcome-based imitation and imposition-based coercion represent major institutional processes. The results also suggest the complementary relationship between mimetic and coercive pressures. Such interaction significantly motivates the green IS & IT adoption focusing on product stewardship. These findings contribute to existing knowledge on the pro-environmental behaviors of organizations, demonstrate the interaction between institutional forces, and further current understanding of green IS & IT adoption The study concludes with a general discussion of eco-goals and their relationship to institutional theory before considering the implications and directions for research and practice.


Green IS/IT; Institutional isomorphism; mimetic pressure; coercive pressure; natural-resource-based view; adoption; green information systems (IS); green information technology (IT)

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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