PhD Research - Patrick Callery

MBA UC Berkeley, MA Economics UC Santa Barbara, MS Mechanical Engineering University of Michigan, BS Mechanical Engineering Boston University

Corporate sustainability is increasingly becoming a mandatory component of corporate strategic management. Innovative firms apply social and environmental sustainability strategies not only for stakeholder and regulatory risk management, but also to improve organizational outcomes and generate returns to shareholders – feeding the proverbial triple bottom line. Patrick’s research examines both external incentives for firms to engage in strategic provision of social and environmental goods and internal behavioral strategies to harness sustainability motivations among employees and the supply chain. In his work, he seeks to extend theory from the disciplines of strategic management and behavioral economics through unique field experiments and robust empirical analyses rooted in applied microeconomics. Through an improved understanding of the motivations of corporations to engage in strategic sustainability and resulting behaviors, he seeks to inform strategic corporate innovation as well as improved policy interventions and public awareness of corporate environmental impacts.

Dissertation Abstract
This research program examines both external incentives for firms to engage in strategic provision of social and environmental goods and internal strategies to harness sustainability motivations among employees and other stakeholder groups. The dissertation consists of four chapters, each comprising a standalone empirical research study grounded in strategic management, economics, and behavioral theories. The first two studies use field experimental methods to examine the tendency for individuals to alter attitudes and behavior in response to information about relevant peers and their social environment. The third study extends these individual behavioral phenomena to the corporate setting, evaluating the degree to which firms engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for profitability or legitimacy motivations, using the CSR performance of competitor firms as referent. The final study examines microdata contained within a prominent third-party corporate greenhouse gas emissions disclosure program, finding evidence of widespread reporting inconsistencies that suggest systematic efforts by companies to mislead stakeholders about actual carbon management performance. The outcomes of this research program inform corporate strategies for leveraging social and environmental goods for improved financial performance - the triple bottom line - and policy prescriptions to increase incentives for companies to provide truthful disclosures of environmental performance.

Year Admitted: 2012
Research Areas:
Strategic management, corporate sustainability, technology and innovation, business economics
Faculty Advisor:
Matthew Potoski
Office: Bren Hall 3021

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