- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- Retrospective, Perspective, and Prospective: Introduction to the Oxford Handbook on Business and the Natural Environment
- Competitive Strategy and the Environment: A Field of Inquiry Emerges
- International Business and the Environment
- Environmental Entrepreneurship
- The Value of Managing Stakeholders
- Industry Self-Regulation and Environmental Protection
- Environmental Governance
- Business and Environmental Law
- Cognitive Barriers to Environmental Action: Problems and Solutions
- Intergenerational Beneficence and the Success of Environmental Sustainability Initiatives in Organizational Contexts
- Organizational Culture and Environmental Action
- Institutional Approaches to Organizations and the Natural Environment
- Institutional Pressures and Organizational Characteristics: Implications for Environmental Strategy
- Social Movements, Business, and the Environment
- Greener Supply Chain Management
- Closed-Loop Supply Chains
- Industrial Ecology: Business Management in a Material World
- Information Systems, Business, and the Natural Environment: Can Digital Business Transform Environmental Sustainability?
- From Green Marketing to Marketing for Environmental Sustainability
- Why not Choose Green? Consumer Decision Making for Environmentally Friendly Products
- Using Market Segmentation Approaches to Understand the Green Consumer
- Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting and the Emergence of the External Social Audits: The Struggle for Accountability?
- Environmental Management, Measurement, and Accounting: Information for Decision and Control?
- Corporate Environmental Financial Reporting and Financial Markets
- Values-Driven and Profit-Seeking Dimensions of Environmentally Responsible Investing
- Environmental Risks and Financial Markets: A Two-Way Street
- Corporate Decision-Making, Net Present Value, and the Environment
- The Relevance of the Natural Environment for Corporate Social Responsibility Research
- Business, Society, and the Environment
- The New Corporate Environmentalism and the Symbolic Management of Organizational Culture
- Critical Perspectives on Business and the Natural Environment
- Approaching Business and the Environment with Complexity Theory
- Beyond the Brave New World: Business for Sustainability
- Looking Back, Thinking Forward: Distinguishing Between Weak and Strong Sustainability
- Enterprise Sustainability 2.0: Aesthetics of Sustainability
- Tomorrow's C-Suite Agenda
- The Third-Generation Corporation
- Capitalism Critique: Systemic Limits on Business Harmony with Nature
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.
David L. Levy is Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing, College of Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness.
Benyamin B. Lichtenstein is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, College of Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
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