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The role of governance style, institutional capacity and regulatory culture in the adoption of ISO14001: the case of Athens International Airport (AIA)

Kassolis, Maria 2005. The role of governance style, institutional capacity and regulatory culture in the adoption of ISO14001: the case of Athens International Airport (AIA). PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis examines the development of ISO14001 - an international environmental management standard - within the Greek context. Numerous organisations in Greece are adopting schemes for environmental management, but the analysis examines the processes of adopting and implementing ISO14001 in a single organisation, by examining in-depth an international airport's participation in ISO14001. The rationale for this approach is to understand the "diffusion" of a notionally global policy instrument, by investigating the way in which ISO14001 is implemented in particular national settings through the concepts of institutional capacity, regulatory culture and governance style. The social and institutional aspects of environmental management are crucial here: in any policy implementation situation, in spite of complex mechanisms seeking to deliver more sustainable activities, there are likely to be disputable outcomes in the implementation of the scheme. In particular this research illustrates the ambiguous nature of the institutionalisation process itself and of the uncertain power available to states and other bodies to implement ISO14001. The findings illuminate the balance of forces promoting ISO14001 in Greece, where multi-national companies and supply-chain pressure are being joined by assertive - if not always effective - state action. The research identifies possible tensions between government policies, business initiatives and the growth of voluntarism as a force for better environmental management in Greece. The shift of certification from the state to private sector promoted by perceived deficiencies in Greek domestic institutional capacity facilitates the diffusion of ISO14001, albeit that it is seen more as a prerequisite of economic growth, rather than a significant force for environmental improvement. This thesis critically evaluates these trends and argues for environmental management engaging with competitiveness and market pressures. Indeed ISO14001 has become a "commodity" in the market for global credibility. With public infrastructure projects at least, state legislative action is important in mandating the use of such 'voluntary tools', raising further questions about the motivation. Market forces by themselves seem less able to undertake the required changes in environmental policy. It is shown that to facilitate environmental responsibility, proper institutional and cultural arrangements must be established and executed by the government and the wider society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9781303170027
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:09

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