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date: 27 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the contribution of complexity theory to the understanding of business and the natural environment (B&NE), concentrating on climate change. It uses the term “complexity” to refer to a group of concepts derived from systems theory, including complex dynamic systems theory, chaos, and emergence, among other disciplines. In addition, some of the features of the business interface with the climate system that present challenges for timely and effective governance are explained. It also investigated the difficulties of intervening in complex dynamic systems, including problems of collective action, unintended consequences, and inherent limitations on effective management. The theory of emergence provides understanding of how dynamic systems generate order and exhibit “self-organization”. Life-cycle analyses can help identify resource synergies among partner firms. The development of modeling tools to represent the complexities of business-environment interactions offers substantial potential for future research.

Keywords: complexity theory, business, natural environment, climate change, governance, management, life-cycle analyses

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