This thesis will guide the reader through the investigation process of a research area previously ignored in the research literature: the formulation and implementation of environmental strategies in printing companies. It will address strategies in printing firms, primarily from a cultural and structural point of view, which are formulated and implemented to help protect the environment and to save resources. The investigation will include a review of previous literature regarding strategy, environmental management and technology, and health and safety management. It will introduce the research questions, the methodology, and the analysis of research findings.

Through the exploratory case study method, the researcher will show how some printing companies integrate environmental protection within their strategic decision process. The researcher investigated two small and two large printing firms in the U.S. and Germany to learn how company size and cultural background influence environmental strategy formulation and implementation processes. In addition, the researcher wanted to know about the individual competitive context, adapted by Porter and Kramer (2002) that influences each firm in its strategic decision-process.

The analysis of the four case studies shows that the environmental strategies of printing companies differ, depending on each individual company and the competitive forces it faces. Though the history of each firm's environmental strategy development is distinctive, all four companies succeeded in creating a competitive edge, gaining a range of common and in some cases individual benefits. Some key factors driving the firms' strategic decision-making processes kept reappearing in the studies: organizational structure, ownership, location, company size, and the history and cultural background of the company. The factor conditions turned out to be the most important element of the competitive context for all four cases. This involves particularly leadership and personal commitment of the members of the firm (employees, the chairman of the board, the CEO, or the mother organization). The demand conditions seemed to be more important to the small firms than to the large firms investigated. All four companies concentrated on process improvements and the resulting increased efficiency and saved resources, thereby reducing environmental impact and saving costs. From the strategy focus and competitive context of each firm it was possible to ascertain its strategy type: emergent or deliberate. Both small firms deliberately use their environmental stance, and thus have formal strategies. The large firms have an informal feel to their environmental initiatives.

The overall goal of this thesis research was to provide the printing industry with valuable information regarding the adoption of environmental strategies. The investigator hoped to help close the gap in the printing literature and to encourage more printing companies to start integrating environmental issues in their strategic decisions in order to become more competitive and socially responsible businesses.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Printing industry--Environmental aspects--United States--Case studies; Printing industry--Environmental aspects--Germany--Case studies; Strategic planning--Environmental aspects--United States--Case studies; Strategic planning--Environmental aspects--Germany--Case studies; Printing--Safety measures

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Scott Williams

Advisor/Committee Member

Sandra Rothenberg


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TD195.P7 M76 2005


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