Worthington Scranton professor studies climate change strategies

Michael D. Michalisin, professor of management and business program coordinator at Penn State Worthington Scranton, had an article he co-authored appear as the lead article in the Journal of Business Strategies.

The article, “Climate Change Strategies and Firm Performance: An Empirical Investigation of the Natural Resource-Based View of the Firm” is based on Michalisin’s study on firms that implement pro-active climate change strategies, and whether they outperform competitors who are less proactive in such efforts.

“There is widespread consensus that human activity has had a significant impact on global climatic patterns, which will have important consequences for much of society,” said Michalisin. “Although there has been much research on the relationship between corporate environmental performance and corporate financial performance, empirical testing of the association between proactive corporate climate-change strategies and financial (or accounting) performance is still in its infancy.”

The study utilized the logic embodied in the Natural Resource-Based View (NRBV) of the firm, in which firms that successfully implement strategies to lessen their effect on climate change should outperform competitors who are less proactive in such efforts. Michalisin used a matched-pair design to empirically demonstrate that firms with proactive climate change strategies achieved significantly higher levels of accounting performance than competitors that were less proactive, thus providing additional support for the NRBV.

“This is a very hot topic today,” Michalisin said. “The unusual weather patterns and weather-based catastrophes we have witnessed in the last few years are becoming more difficult to dismiss as mere atmospheric aberrations. For firms, this has raised an important question: Does it pay to be green?”

The findings of this research add to the limited number of studies showing that it does, in fact, pay to be green.

“Specifically, we show that firms with proactive climate change strategies achieved significantly higher levels of accounting performance than competitors that were less proactive,” Michalisin said.

A graduate of Penn State with a BS in accounting, Michalisin received his MBA in finance from Duquesne University and his doctorate in strategic management and macro-organizational theory from Kent State University. He is a licensed CPA and has worked in industry at Ernst and Young LLP, Westinghouse and Finalco Group Inc.

Contacts: 

Amy Gruzesky

Work Phone: 
570-561-8658
Home Phone: 
570-561-8658
Last Updated March 21, 2011