Economic freedom, internal motivation, and corporate environmental responsibility of SMEs

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The effect of economic freedom on firms’ environmental responsible management is still unconcluded. We conjecture that the effects are conditional on a firm’s internal motivation and use a large-scale survey to run an empirical test. The sample consists of 4338 small and medium-sized enterprises from twelve European countries. Distinguishing between intrinsic (environmental) and extrinsic (profit) internal motivations, we find clear support that the effects of economic freedom and intrinsic motivation on corporate environmental performance interact with each other. Our findings explain the ambiguous results of previous empirical studies at the aggregate level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1123
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019



  • corporate environmental performance
  • economic freedom
  • intrinsic motivation
  • extrinsic motivation
  • interaction

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