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Perceived Influences on Adoption of Socially Responsible Investment Among Swedish Institutional Investors

Conference paper
Authors Tommy Gärling
Magnus Jansson
Anders Biel
Maria Andersson
Published in "Emerging Markets, Currencies, and Financial Stability", University of Rome, December
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Sustainable investments, impediments, incentives, hearding
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Institutional investors are large and powerful owners of corporate equity and have, through their investment decisions, the potential to influence company behaviour in a more sustainable direction. How can institutional investors be influenced? There are many obstacles to overcome before such influences will become more widespread. The present study investigates impediments to sustainable investment (SI) that reside within and between organizations of institutional investors. A survey questionnaire was answered by 37 institutional fund companies with board directors, senior investment managers, and portfolio managers acting as respondents. It was found that a main impediment within the organizations is that top and portfolio management differs in their view on SI. Although they have similar beliefs about short-term and long-term returns of SI funds, top management has a more positive view on intangibles associated with SI. This includes to what extent one believes that members of the own organization support a norm that SI should be implemented and that the share of SI in the own company will increase in the future. The main impediment to SI practice may also be traced to incentives and rules that through imitation are adopted across organisations, potentially underlying the frequently observed herding behaviour among institutional investors.

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