Invisible Patterns: Ecology and Wisdom in Business and Profit

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 - 206 pages
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Business and ecology, Hansen and Christensen assert, are bound together in ways few yet recognize. Ecology represents a true megatrend of increasing strength--a megatrend that impacts new products and production methods, new markets and marketing, new legislation, and new business ethics and business structures. In fact, they contend, a whole new focus from business is emerging--and even more: a new world view. This book presents and discusses an ecological world view and applies it to all aspects of business from opportunities for profit to ethics.

Hansen and Christensen present a novel application of ecological reasoning: they show that ecosystems theory lays down premises for a promising theory of change and resistance to change in the area of management and organization. Further, knowledge about ancient man, as he evolved in his ecological niche, is shown to be vital for an understanding and ability to handle interhuman challenges and general problems in modern enterprises. This book challenges the existing contributions from business and industry to the general efforts to solve global environmental problems. The authors point out degrees of greening and discount the blind faith in the benefits of sustainable growth. This book will be of interest to managers on all levels of business, as well as those involved in public/economic policy issues, and to students and scholars of business administration.

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Contents

Organizations as Ecosystems
37
Ancient Man in Modern Organizations
77
Organizational Ecology and Strategic Leadership
105
The Ecological Path
131
Profit Ethics and EcoProblems
155
Axioms of Organizational Ecology
171
Criteria for the WellFormed Strategy Document
180
A Critique of the Strategy of Global Economic
186
Notes
195
Selected Bibliography
201
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Page 137 - The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.
Page 33 - To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded.
Page 25 - The fact of our imperfect understanding should not be allowed to feed our anxiety and so increase the need to control. Rather, our studies could be inspired by a more ancient, but today less honored, motive: a curiosity about the world of which we are part. The rewards of such work are not power but...
Page 7 - ... countries because: • Many people of the new tribalism want self-rule and every day they see others getting self-rule, or moving toward it. • The nation-state is dead. Not because nation-states were subsumed by super-states, but because they are breaking up to smaller, more efficient parts — just like big companies. • The revolution in telecommunications not only informs this tremendous move to democratic self-rule but monitors and makes transparent the character and nature of the process....
Page 137 - These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes. 2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves. 3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs. 4. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease...
Page 1 - It's the individual (or the individual company, or the individual nation) that matters. (d) We can have unilateral control over the environment and must strive for that control. (e) We live within an infinitely expanding "frontier".
Page 26 - Every time we produce a Cadillac, we irrevocably destroy an amount of low entropy that could otherwise be used for producing a plow or a spade. In other words, every time we produce a Cadillac, we do it at the cost of decreasing the number of human lives in the future.
Page 148 - Business does not have an obligation to protect the environment over and above what is required by law; however, it does have a moral obligation to avoid intervening in the political arena in order to defeat or weaken environmental legislation.

About the author (1995)

JON LUND HANSEN is Director of Consens A/S, Norway. He is a psychologist and management consultant.

PER A. CHRISTENSEN is Chief Executive, ODC Organisational Consultants Limited. He has consulted businesses throughout the world.

The two have published books and articles on management and productivity, organizational change, and ecology.

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