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Title: Integrating the 'green' environment into business strategy
Author: Lewis, Gerard J.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1998
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Why are business organisations not integrating the natural environment into business strategy? This question is important because green issues have strategic importance for business organisations, green issues are under-researched, and current management practice is believed to be inappropriate for managing such issues. This research focuses on answering the question by studying how senior executives in the UK textile industry (a) perceive uncertainty in the natural environment and (b) make strategic decisions involving green issues. The research uses questionnaires and interviews for data collection. Both research instruments are grounded in two main constructs; 'perceived environmental uncertainty' and 'rationality in strategic decision making'. A contingency perspective is taken and organisation performance is measured using Ashby's (1956) Law of requisite variety. The findings show that a number of barriers to integration exist. Exogenous barriers are: (a) the quality and availability of information, (b) sources of uncertainty and equivocality in the natural environment, and (c) rational and non-rational decision making techniques are either not available or undeveloped. Endogenous barriers are: (d) executives' limited mental models of the natural environment, (e) a relatively low level of rationality in strategic decision making for green issues, and (f) a vicious circle which discourages investment in information structures. The research is novel in that perceived environmental uncertainty and rationality in strategic decision making have been applied to green issues for the first time. Other contributions to knowledge include the development of the macro environment concept (Le. commercial and natural environments combined), the development of green research instruments, and the application of Ashby's (1956) Law to the measurement of green organisation performance. The practical implications of the findings are that executives should be sensitised to green issues and trained to think systemically. At the organisational level, information processing structures can be improved by using scenario planning techniques. It is also the case that environmental management systems have limited application in green strategic decision making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available