Corporate Characteristics, Political Embeddedness and Environmental Pollution by Large U.S. Corporations Academic Article uri icon


  • Organizational and environmental sociology contain surprisingly few studies of the corporation as one of the sources of environmental pollution. To fill this gap, we focus on the parent company as the unit of analysis and elaborate environmental theories that focus on the organizational and political-legal causes of pollution. Using a compiled longitudinal dataset of corporations in Standard & Poor's 500 from 1994 through 2001, we test hypotheses derived from an organizational political economy framework. We find that corporations with more complex structures, greater capital dependence and those headquartered in a state with lower environmental standards have higher pollution rates. In addition, the dollar amount of penalties did not curb pollution rates during this period of weakened federal environmental protection. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.

altmetric score

  • 212.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Prechel, H., & Zheng, L.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • March 2012