Escaping the green prison: Entrepreneurship and the creation of opportunities for sustainable development

While entrepreneurial activity has been an important force for social and ecological sustainability; its efficacy is dependent upon the nature of market incentives. This limitation is sometimes explained by the metaphor of the prisoner’s dilemma, which we term the green prison. In this prison, entrepreneurs are compelled to environmentally degrading behavior due to the divergence between individual rewards and collective goals for sustainable development. Entrepreneurs, however, can escape from the green prison by altering or creating the institutions–norms, property rights, and legislation–that establish the incentives of competitive games. We provide a variety of evidence of such entrepreneurial action and discuss its implications for theory and practice.

Journal or Publication:
Journal of Business Venturing
Desirée F. Pacheco
Thomas J. Dean
David Payne
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