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Title: Strategic responses to institutional forces pressuring sustainability practice adoption : case-based evidence from inland port operations
Authors: Vejvar, M 
Lai, KH 
Lo, KY 
Fürst, EWM
Keywords: Case study
Inland port operations
Institutional theory
Port operations
Resource dependence theory
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Transportation research. Part D, Transport and environment, June 2018, v. 61, pt. B, p. 274-288 How to cite?
Journal: Transportation research. Part D, Transport and environment 
Abstract: This article investigates strategic responses of inland ports to institutional forces pressuring their adoption of sustainability practices. We postulate that even though inland port operators strive for economic viability, there are growing pressures from various stakeholders for continuous enhancement of their environmental and social sustainability practices. We apply institutional theory to classify the effects of these forces based on five institutional antecedents - cause, constituents, content, control, and context - and further expand our theoretical framework with resource dependence tenets to discuss the spectrum of strategic responses available to inland ports to deal with institutional forces. We examine our theoretical arguments with empirical evidence collected from four inland ports using a case study-based approach. We conclude that while inland ports have a strong disposition towards social sustainability, economic considerations are still most emphasized, and environmental issues are mostly regarded in compliance with the legally mandated minimum. The most important sources of institutional pressure are identified as cause, constituents, and control. In a further step, we present evidence of the inland ports' potential strategic responses. The study also provides insights for managers and policy makers on strategic options as. appropriate organizational responses to proliferating institutional pressures for sustainability practices adoption.
Description: Ernst Mach research grant awarded by the Österreichische Austauschdienst (OeAD) with funds from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economics (BMWFW)
ISSN: 1361-9209
DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2017.08.014
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