An empirical investigation of sustainability innovation systems and the stages of sustainability maturity

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Sustainability innovation systems refer to the strategic investment in IT assets to enable business sustainability within each stage of sustainability maturity. The stages of sustainability maturity framework proposes that the role played by IT assets to support sustainability depends on the stage of sustainability maturity achieved. We set out to examine these propositions using data collected from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reports of two high sustainability U.S. based firms in the pharmaceutical industry over a six-year period from 2009 to 2015. Our research provides some empirical support for the proposition that companies follow a staged path to sustainability maturity and their investments in IT assets reflect their maturity stage. Importantly, our research shows that GRI reports are a reliable secondary data source for scholars and practitioners who want to conduct longitudinal empirical studies on sustainability information systems.

Publication Title

AMCIS 2017 - America's Conference on Information Systems: A Tradition of Innovation

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