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Article in Journal

How environmental protection agencies can promote eco-innovation: The prospect of voluntary reciprocal legitimacy

Citation
Ball C, Burt G, de Vries F & MacEachern E (2018) How environmental protection agencies can promote eco-innovation: The prospect of voluntary reciprocal legitimacy, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 129, pp. 242-253.

Abstract
Abstract This paper examines the \{UK\} and Irish Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) ability to move beyond regulatory compliance to support and promote sustainable environmental innovation, in short “eco-innovation”. To do so would require them to overcome the perception that they face, often being perceived as ‘policemen’ by the regulated business community. We propose a new empirically-derived theoretical construct called Voluntary Reciprocal Legitimacy (VRL), defined as the development of mutual trust between the regulator and business resulting in arrangements which generate eco-innovation benefits for the regulator, the regulated business communities and society at large. \{VRL\} adds a new category to Suchman's (1995) theory of moral legitimacy as well as highlights how \{EPAs\} can build trust between themselves and regulated business, allowing a shift of the ‘beyond compliance’ legislative boundary. Such an approach supports eco-innovation whilst simultaneously protecting the natural environment.

Keywords
Environmental protection agencies; Environmental innovation; Sustainability; Voluntary reciprocal legitimacy; Sustainable growth

StatusPublished
AuthorsBall Chris, Burt George, de Vries Frans, MacEachern Erik
Publication date04/2018
Publication date online21/11/2017
Date accepted by journal01/11/2017
PublisherElsevier
ISSN 0040-1625
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Technological Forecasting and Social Change: Volume 129 (2017)

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