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Edited by Gerard George and Simon J.D. Schillebeeckx

The book aims to develop thought leadership on managing natural resources and stimulate the emergence of a community of management scholars that will advance research in this exciting area. We invited scholars from around the world to share conceptual and empirical research in which natural resources take centre stage and present 11 chapters that all contribute in important ways to both management theory and thinking as well as to the natural resource agenda. We explicitly draw the connection between the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and natural resources and explore how the chapters in this book address many of these goals in a way that husbands management theory with real impact.

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Managing Natural Resources

Organizational Strategy, Behaviour and Dynamics

Edited by Gerard George and Simon J.D. Schillebeeckx

Managing the natural environment is fundamental to many businesses, yet management scholars have understudied how natural resources are acquired and deployed, how they constrain and challenge strategy and innovation, and how they differ from more conventionally studied resources in management. This book captures leading and thought-provoking conceptual and empirical contributions on how organizations (ought to) interact with such natural resources. The authors apply and extend management theories to the natural resource context, thereby opening up multiple avenues for future research.
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Gerard George, Simon J.D. Schillebeeckx and Teng Lit Liak

This chapter is a reprint from an editorial in the Academy of Management Journal. The article investigates how resources have been discussed and theorized over the last decades and finds that despite their omnipresence in economics, engineering and policy, managerial thought on natural resources is largely missing. Yet, important questions on how firms deal with scarcity of natural resources, how they are managed in a sustainable way, and how they inspire all kinds of organizational action abound. We discuss organizational, institutional and societal responses to scarcity and present ways to continue research on the ‘Grand Challenge’ of natural resources within the field of management. Finally, we present a conversation with Teng Lit Liak, a businessman, politician and environmental champion in Singapore on his perspectives on the natural environment.

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Simon J.D. Schillebeeckx, Mark Workman and Charles Dean

We review how scarcity of natural resources has been framed over time and propose a new frame that ties the availability of source resources to the capacity of sink resources to absorb negative externalities caused by resource extraction and use alongside a techno-economic, market and socio-political dimension. This new frame builds on and further develops the emerging construct of the resource nexus, which focuses on the interdependence between natural resources, ecosystems and social systems. We then focus on the question of what this new frame means for organizations that operate within a resource nexus ‘environment’, and reinterpret the meaning of dynamism, complexity and uncertainty within a natural environment context. We end this chapter with an exploration of what this means for management and suggest that developing anti-fragility, boosting flexibility and supporting openness and collective action will become important strategic considerations for those organizations that seek to thrive in the resource nexus.