Taking risks in the face of uncertainty: an exploratory analysis of green innovation

Stephen Roper, Efstathios Tapinos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between uncertainty and firms’ risk-taking behaviour has been a focus of investigation since early discussion of the nature of enterprise activity. Here, we focus on how firms’ perceptions of environmental uncertainty and their perceptions of the risks involved impact on their willingness to undertake green innovation. Analysis is based on a cross-sectional survey of UK food companies undertaken in 2008. The results reinforce the relationship between perceived environmental uncertainty and perceived innovation risk and emphasise the importance of macro-uncertainty in shaping firms’ willingness to undertake green innovation. The perceived (market-related) riskiness of innovation also positively influences the probability of innovating, suggesting either a proactive approach to stimulating market disruption or an opportunistic approach to innovation leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date26 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


  • perceived environmental uncertainty
  • innovation risk
  • green innovation
  • SMEs


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