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CEP discussion paper

Anatomy of a Paradox: Management Practices, Organisational Structure and Energy Efficiency


This paper presents new evidence on managerial and organizational factors that explain firm level energy efficiency and TFP. We interviewed managers of 190 randomly selected manufacturing plants in the UK and matched their responses with official business microdata. We find that ‘climate friendly’ management practices are associated with lower energy intensity and higher TFP. Firms that adopt more such practices also engage in more R&D related to climate change. We show that the variation in management practices across firms can be explained in part by organizational structure. Firms are more likely to adopt climate friendly management practices if climate change issues are managed by the environmental or energy manager, and if this manager is close to the CEO. Our results support the view that the “energy efficiency paradox” can be explained by managerial factors and highlight their importance for private-sector innovation that will sustain future growth in energy efficiency.


Ralf Martin, Mirabelle MuŻls, Ulrich J. Wagner and Laure B. de Preux

December 2010     Paper Number CEPDP1039

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Growth programme.