Opportunistic behaviors in green signaling: When do firms engage in symbolic green product preannouncement?

Yann Truong, Jonatan Pinkse

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Although firms widely use product preannouncements as a signaling strategy to influence external audiences’ perceptions and decisions, environmental scholars have rarely investigated this medium as a legitimation strategy. This study explores the impact of environmental performance on firms' propensity to use symbolic green new product preannouncements to signal their green actions. Building on a sample of 503 green product preannouncements from 2008 to 2012, the findings show that firms with lower environmental performance tend to issue more symbolic green preannouncements. We also found that the level of concentration in the industry moderates the relationship between environmental performance and symbolic green preannouncements, such that firms tend to issue more symbolic preannouncements in highly concentrated industries independently of their environmental performance to deter- or respond to competitive signals. This study contributes to the environmental literature by unraveling the determinants of symbolic green product preannouncements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Signaling theory
  • environmental performance
  • stakeholder relations
  • product preannouncements

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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