Business, College of



Jess Mikeska, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Document Type Article

A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Interdepartmental Area of Business (Marketing), Under the Supervision of Professor Leslie Carlson. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Jess Mikeska


This dissertation is the first to propose a test of environmental management theory through a reflective, managerial scale, and does so through a public policy lens. It matches 76 managerial respondents’ (17 firms) perceptions of environmental management with objective, secondary data ranging between 2002 and 2014 so as to reflect longitudinal changes in marketplace activities which influence end consumers (e.g., pricing, promotional activity). Such changes are artifacts of firms’ environmental management of threatening government public policy.

The findings of two studies, qualitative interviews based on a transcendental phenomenological design and an online survey matched to secondary marketplace data utilizing Hierarchical Linear Modeling, confirm the two classic orientations offered through environmental management theories: strategic choice and deterministic orientations, but extends the latter. This dissertation finds deterministic firms proactively avoid being determined by a force in the external business environment rather than let it completely determine the firms’ business.

Additionally, this dissertation finds that environmental management is at least two-dimensional in that viewing the socio-political force of the external business environment as malleable is, in fact, a dimension of a firm’s management ability. However, this management ability is mitigated by a duty orientation. Finally, both studies confirm that not only do some strategic choice oriented firms use marketing skills and tactics (i.e. product development) to offset the public policy pressure over using political behaviors, but also that marketing tactics are viewed by some firms as a way to manage government public policy while still serving society’s stakeholders.

While firms which manage government public policy pressures through political strategies affect consumers by changing promotion activities, a relatively unbeneficial consumer outcome, firms which manage such policy through marketing strategies benefit consumers by offering products of higher quality. Thus, government public policy that encourages firms to fight back through political behaviors create an unintended consequence of increasing utilization of non-personal, mass advertising rather than the intended improvements in safety and/or health among consumers for which the policy was inherently designed.

Adviser: Leslie Carlson