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 6: Natural imprinting and vertical integration in the extractive industries

Forough Zarea Fazlelahi and J. Henri Burgers


Transaction Cost Economics and the Resource-Based View are two traditional lenses to explain vertical integration decisions. However, these lenses face limitations in considering the persistence of such decisions over time. Drawing on imprinting theory, this chapter provides a theoretical link between the initial natural resource characteristics surrounding a firm’s birth and its choice and persistence of vertical integration. The main argument is that initial natural resource conditions have an imprinting effect on the vertical integration decisions made by firms in the extractive industries. A process through which imprinting happens is explained. We discuss several propositions concerning the kind of influence different initial natural resource characteristics have on firm decisions. Our main contribution is presenting a natural imprinting view that can explain the enduring effect of natural environment characteristics on firms’ ownership structures in the extractive industries.

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