Different Shades of Green: Global Oil and Gas Companies and Renewable Energy

Julia Hartmann, Andrew Inkpen*, Kannan Ramaswamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The long-term energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy raises critical questions about the future of oil and gas firms. This study asks why some oil and gas firms are committed to renewable energy while others continue to maintain a distinct fossil fuels focus with little or no investment in renewable energy. The analysis reveals that there is a wide range in the degree to which oil and gas firms have invested in renewable energy. Some firms have no investments and others have investments in multiple renewable energy technologies across many countries. We examine a combination of country-based institutional factors and firm-based knowledge and experience factors that could impact oil and gas firms’ decisions to invest in renewable energy activity. Regulative and normative pressures impacted renewable energy investments as did environmental citizenship and the degree of internationalization. The study’s integration of country-level factors with firm-level experiences provides insights into how firms are dealing with the energy transition. By examining areas such as sustainability and regulatory policy, the paper sheds light on the ways in which scholars can tap into measures and methods that can extend traditional IB research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)879-903
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Oil and gas
  • Institutional theory
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainability
  • Content analysis

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