Title: Bringing the natural environment into strategic management: theoretical perspectives and a reassessment of the 'Brent Spar' case

Authors: Dodo zu Knyphausen-Aufseß; Maria Rumpf; Lars Schweizer

Addresses: Technische Universität Berlin, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany. ' Technical University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse 13, 61169 Friedberg, Germany. ' Goethe-University Frankfurt, Grüneburgplatz 1, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany

Abstract: Environmental challenges and their potential implications for corporate strategy are becoming increasingly important in the field of strategic management. Still, the strategic management literature deals with the concept of 'environment' in a rather abstract way. This paper aims at bridging the gap between (rather abstract) discussions of the concept of 'environment' in strategic management literature and the implications for corporate strategy provided by the challenges of the natural environment. We build on different theoretical perspectives, but most importantly on recent developments in systems theory. Thus, our paper contributes to the paradigm discussion in the strategic management field by making a fundamental differentiation between system and environment as a starting point. We reassess the well-known 'Brent Spar' case in order to illustrate our propositions.

Keywords: natural environment; systems theory; green strategy; polycentric systems; Brent Spar; strategic management; environmental strategy; corporate strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSM.2012.049009

International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 2012 Vol.3 No.3, pp.221 - 247

Published online: 09 Sep 2012 *

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