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 7: The Giving River: how organizational actorhood and history have shaped the management of water

Brett Crawford, Siddharth Mehra and Yulong Hu


This chapter explores how shifting rationalities of individuals and organizations reshape the management of natural resources over time. Using an archival and interview-based research design, we examine the major chronological events and shifting rationalities that impacted how a single, valuable river resource was managed throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on a parallel story (The Giving Tree), our examination of California’s McCloud River illustrates (1) how the rationality of actors at various points in time drives their interests in specific natural resources, as well as acceptable ways to manage those resources and (2) that water resources such as rivers, which have long been viewed as replenishing natural resources, can be managed in a way that removes their replenishing nature. We posit that by improving our understanding of natural resource management in the past, the abilities of individuals and organizations to manage nature resources more responsibly in the future will be enhanced.

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