Credibly reducing information asymmetry: Signaling on economic or environmental value by environmental alliances

Albert Jolink, Eva Niesten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article focuses on strategic alliances that strive for economic profit while contributing to environmental sustainability. These so-called environmental alliances operate on a spectrum between the goals of economic and environmental value. New environmental alliances signal in announcements to their external stakeholders where they position themselves on this spectrum of alliance goals in order to reduce information asymmetry and enhance their credibility. In this article, we predict the type of external signal that environmental alliances send by studying alliance processes and structures that embed the latent alliance goals. We built an original dataset by combining data on 389 environmental alliances from the SDC Platinum database for the period 2013–2017 and data on signals in 650 alliance announcements. Our findings show that announcements signaling on economic value are mainly used by environmental production and marketing joint ventures, thereby reducing the information asymmetry on their latent goal of economic value. Conversely, announcements signaling on environmental value are mainly used by environmental R&D contracts that focus on the latent goal of environmental value. Our article thus illustrates that alliances aim to enhance their credibility by achieving signal fit between external signals and latent alliance goals. Even though environmental alliances operate on a spectrum of economic and environmental value, we demonstrate that they prefer to avoid sending mixed messages and hence only signal on one of the alliance goals. Our article contributes to the literature on environmental alliances by applying signaling theory to explain these counterintuitive findings and to improve our understanding of how environmental alliances aim for credibility through their communication on their alliance goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101996
JournalLong Range Planning
Early online date26 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2020

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Credibly reducing information asymmetry: Signaling on economic or environmental value by environmental alliances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this