Although rhetoric involves political and symbolic posture, and does not always accurately represent reality, it plays an important role in the dynamic change process of environmental strategy. We first elaborate on the related concepts and develop frameworks to analyze corporate environmental strategy and its change. We report two case studies of Korean companies using the framework. Longitudinal case studies also provide additional implications for corporate environmental strategy in developing countries such as Korea. There is a gap between the rhetoric and reality of environmental strategy and it constantly changes over time depending on specific internal and external influences. The strength of external influences is a factor that determines whether the change is real or merely rhetorical. Internal organizational variables most likely affect the reality of environmental strategy. We show that the elaboration of rhetorical and realistic aspects of corporate environmentalism can bring out deeper insights and new theoretical developments. ？ 2003 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.