Eco-effective greening decisions and rationalizations: The case of shell renewables

Lise Backer, Timothy S. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Drawing on a social constructionist perspective, the authors present insights into the business case for eco-effective greening of business, based on analysis of Royal Dutch Shell's 1997 establishment of Shell Renewables as its fifth core business. They apply organizational decision-making theory to suggest that Shell's new eco-effective renewable energy business came about in a process fitting the garbage-can decision-making model-a model more aptly named after a recycling bin, they also argue. In rationalizing the decision after it had been made, Shell leveraged its energy-industry networks to enact a market for its new eco-effective products and services. The article concludes with the authors' observations that eco-effective greening can be a business case-in-the-making, with the economic outcome of developing eco-effective products and services dependent on how new green markets are created and pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-244
Number of pages18
JournalOrganization and Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Eco-effectiveness
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Enacting markets
  • Garbage-can decision making
  • Green energy
  • Recycling-bin decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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