Managerial drivers of corporate environmental responsiveness in developing countries: A systematic literature review

Nahla H.E. Ahmed*, Arnold H. Enklaar, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Research on micro-foundations of corporate environmental responsiveness (CER) has been accelerating rapidly in recent years. The aim of this multidisciplinary review of 103 studies was to analyze and integrate the current literature on managerial drivers of CER in developing countries. In these studies, we discern three levels of analysis board of directors (BOD), chief executive officer (CEO), and top management team (TMT). We analyzed the studies in terms of research designs and variables used. The reported findings were sketched as well. In an effort to synthesize the past studies for future research purposes, we crafted from the reviewed studies a multilevel, evidence-based framework, based on three categories of upper echelons’ characteristics (socio-demographic, psychological, and social influences), along with mediating and moderating factors. The review reveals also substantial knowledge gaps, methodological issues, and inconsistent findings in the current literature at the different levels of analysis. Hence, we propose a detailed agenda for future research; we plea for more multilevel and cross-cultural CER studies with more focus on combining different psychological characteristics and interaction dynamics among strategic leaders in different top-managerial roles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100956
JournalEnvironmental development
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Corporate environmental responsiveness
  • Developing countries
  • Senior managers
  • Sustainability
  • Systematic literature review
  • Top management
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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