Managing Natural Resources
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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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Chapter 3: A raw materials transition for a low-carbon economy: challenges and opportunities for management in addressing the trilemma of competitiveness, supply security and sustainability

Roh Pin Lee, Ronny Reinhardt, Florian Keller, Sebastian Gurtner and Lutz Schiffer

Abstract

Political and industrial decision makers have to promote technological innovations that pave the way for a low-carbon economy while ensuring the security and competitiveness of raw material supplies. In this complex decision-making environment, it is highly challenging to obtain a holistic and well-grounded overview of the wider institutional environment affecting industrial value chains. This chapter illustrates the managerial relevance and implications of a raw materials transition through a case study of the German chemical industry. Utilizing a cradle-to-gate approach, an integrated techno-economic-environmental evaluation of viable carbon resource alternatives for producing organic chemicals is conducted. The results illustrate the complexity and diversity of issues decision makers face. Additionally, qualitative factors are considered to illustrate motivators and risks that could influence decisions about whether to invest in alternative carbon feedstock. Finally, management theories and practices that could support strategic decision makers in resolving the conflicting demands of the institutional environment are discussed.

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