1st Edition

Business and the Natural Environment A Research Overview

By Andrew Hoffman, Susse Georg Copyright 2018
    108 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    100 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The fields of corporate environmentalism, green business and corporate sustainability have grown significantly over the past twenty-five years, such that the academic research domains of business decision-making, accounting, organizational behaviour, and the protection of the natural environment have developed into maturing areas of study within the management sciences.

    Business and the Natural Environment: A Research Overview is a summary of the research thus far on this topic, offering a structure for understanding its emergence and growth, the multiple facets that make up its present state and a glimpse into the future of where it may be going. Along the way, the authors provide a compendium of its important works to help situate the interested reader in the landscape of the field. One important element of this work is its topical relevance; issues of environmental protection (and more recently sustainability) are critically important in today’s worlds of business, policy, and public understanding. Scholars who choose to enter this domain have much to offer of societal value while at the same time, entering a non-fully legitimate research stream that can lead to academic success (such as tenure).

    This shortform book provides a research map for both new scholars who wish to enter the field and more seasoned researchers who wish to understand one view of the landscape and how they might fit within it. This expert survey of the existing literature brings the research story into the age of the Anthropocene and is essential primary reading.

    Acknowledgements xx

    About the authors xx

    List of Figures xx


    1. Introduction xx

    2. Contours of an Emerging Field: Historical Development of B&NE Research   xx

      • Journals in which B&NE research has been published xx

      • Citation counts of B&NE research xx

      • Network Mapping of the B&NE Field xx

    1. The Field Matures: Multiple Conversations of the Contemporary B&NE Field xx

      • Conceptual Models xx

      • Drivers of Change xx

      • Organizational Response xx

    1. Looking to the Future of B&NE Research xx

      • B&NE Research in the Era of Environmental Management xx

      • The Anthropocene as a Discontinuity xx

      • B&NE Research in the Era of the Anthropocene xx

    1. Conclusion xx

    References xx

    Appendices xx


    Andrew J. Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; a position that holds joint appointments in the Management & Organizations department at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Sustainable Systems group at the School of Natural Resources & Environment. He has published over 100 articles/book chapters, as well as 14 books, which have been translated into six languages. In this work, he focuses on the processes by which environmental issues both emerge and evolve as social, political and managerial issues. He receieved his joint PhD in Management and Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Susse Georg is Professor of Sustainable Innovation at the University of Aalborg, Copenhagen campus, in Denmark. Prior to her appointment at Aalborg University in 2012, she held a professorship at Copenhagen Business School and was co-director for CBS’ research platform on ‘Sustainable Business’. She has published articles, book chapters and two books on the development of corporate environmental management, clean technologies and sustainable cities. She is currently researching the organizational and institutional changes necessary for increased use of intermittent renewable energy in smart energy systems. She received her PhD in Environmental Economics and Policy from Copenhagen Business School.

    'Hoffman and Georg have offered us an important mirror to examine ourselves with, reflecting back the past few decades of research and publishing in the still emerging field of Business and the Natural Environment. We have to be honest about what we see—a great deal of work rooted in the assumptions of the current theories and practices of management. But peering through the looking glass reveals that what is imperative in the years ahead is assumption-breaking and paradigm shifting work commensurate with the momentous social and environmental changes that are being wrought by the onset of the Anthropocene Era. The challenge to—and opportunity for—researchers in the field could not be more starkly drawn.' — Stuart L. Hart, Steven Grossman Endowed Chair in Sustainable Business, University of Vermont, USA

    'At no time in history has society faced such seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges. Hoffman and Georg call for thoughtful scholarship, by putting into context the history of research in business and environment and outlining the real challenges that lay ahead.' — Pratima (Tima) Bansal, Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability, Ivey Business School, Canada

    'This book is a great compendium of the field of Business and the Natural Environment. For readers looking for a comprehensive introduction, the book is ideal to start exploring this important field. Andy Hoffman and Susse Georg not only look back, though, they also develop a thought-provoking argument that we have now arrived in the ‘Age of Humans’. They call into question the human relation to our planet and what this means for business.' — Jonatan Pinkse, Alliance Manchester Business School

    'How have business scholars sought to understand the interactions between business and the natural environment, and where might the field be heading next? This concise volume by two leading scholars provides answers to these questions...The volume serves to welcome new scholars into the conversation and inspire debates with more established colleagues... the authors provide invigorating glimpses into several possible directions, such as challenging the premises of market models and standard economic metrics, while emphasizing systems thinking and alternative modes of organizing and governance.' — Todd Schifeling, Postdoctoral Fellow, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise