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Assorted Dissertation Writings and Article Parts

posted Sep 21, 2010, 12:15 AM by Jess Maher   [ updated Sep 21, 2010, 12:23 AM ]

By Jess Maher throughout 2010, these following exerts are unorganised and in no particular order, the intention with this upload was for others to have access to extensive sources of material and maybe find inspiration from some particular part that they may actually want to finish themselves... that and I want to get it off my PC! ;) 











Janine Benyus, 

Janine Benyus

Environment & Organic, Holistic SolutionsThis is a featured page

 Janine is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including her latest Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. InBiomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's designs and processes.

Jamais Cascio, 30 Mar 05 (http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002447.html)


Environment & Organic, Holistic Solutions - assist NZIf you even come close to the sustainable blogosphere (as I increasingly see it called) today, you know that the UN's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report is out. The vast majority of news reports about the Assessment emphasize its dark, "sobering" presentation. This isn't surprising -- the planet's environmental systems are under a lot of stress, and if things don't change, we're in for disaster. But that's an important caveat -- if things don't change
(A quick summary of the MEA, for those of you who have missed out on the fun. A multi-year study involving over 2,000 scientists from 95 countries, the Millennium Assessment Report is a broad survey of environmental indicators. Overall, the story isn't good. Of the 24 key "services" provided by the environment, 15 have "degraded over the last 50 years--most notably fresh water, fisheries, air and water purification, and the regulation of climate, natural hazards and pests. Only four have been enhanced, and three of those pertain to food production." The MEA website is here; the available synthesis reports are here; they key report is here (6 MB PDF); and (for those of you not wishing to read the full 200+ page document) a "popularized" summary site is here.) The MEA team included the scenarios as a way of giving greater context to how the snapshot of the planet fits into society's changes. In the report, present conditions are contrasted to the state of the planet fifty years ago; in the scenarios, the team looked at how things could be fifty years hence.


World Development
globalization
regionalization
Ecosystem
Management
reactive
proactive


The MEA summarizes the scenarios thusly:
Global Orchestration – This scenario depicts a globally connected society that focuses on global trade and economic liberalization and takes a reactive approach to ecosystem problems but that also takes strong steps to reduce poverty and inequality and to invest in public goods such as infrastructure and education. Economic growth in this scenario is the highest of the four scenarios, while it is assumed to have the lowest population in 2050. 
Order from Strength – This scenario represents a regionalized and fragmented world, concerned with security and protection, emphasizing primarily regional markets, paying little attention to public goods, and taking a reactive approach to ecosystem problems. Economic growth rates are the lowest of the scenarios (particularly low in developing countries) and decrease with time, while population growth is the highest. 
Adapting Mosaic – In this scenario, regional watershed-scale ecosystems are the focus of political and economic activity. Local institutions are strengthened and local ecosystem management strategies are common; societies develop a strongly proactive approach to the management of ecosystems. Economic growth rates are somewhat low initially but increase with time, and population in 2050 is nearly as high as in Order from Strength. 
TechnoGarden – This scenario depicts a globally connected world relying strongly on environmentally sound technology, using highly managed, often engineered, ecosystems to deliver ecosystem services, and taking a proactive approach to the management of ecosystems in an effort to avoid problems. Economic growth is relatively high and accelerates, while population in 2050 is in the mid-range of the scenarios.

There's a point where terribilisma becomes "world-ending." The doom and gloom of the majority of news reports and blog posts about the MEA feeds the all-too-common perception that things are so bad that there's nothing that we can do about it. The people whose political oxen would be gored by aggressive shifts towards foresight, sustainability and bright green industries have everything to gain from the rest of us giving up. The scenarios give us ways to imagine solutions -- multiple solutions, with different choices and benefits -- to the very real problems we face; in short, they give us reasons not to give up. 



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CONTINGENCY AND EMBEDDEDNESS

In review, there is clear need for new frameworks of understanding as the bounds of the legacy structures and processes for research and business generally are misrepresentative of the reality (Maguire & Singer, 2007). Imposing constrictions in order to quantify, they do not recognise the critical level of importance and the inherent need to adopt a contingency approach which addresses concerns of the context (Dodge, Fullerton & Robbins, 1994). Common within HR, is the debate or discussion around the tension of best fit verse best practise. Nestled in the contingency approach theories, this tension refers to the choice between the industry standard model which has been tried and tested and forms the benchmark for any initiatives in a particular industry, or the alternative, considering which part or parts of the equation is best suited given the context.

There has been an ongoing emphasis on focusing on the local, rather than the global context within business in recent years (Chell & Baines, 2000). There is also a broad recognition that international research should acknowledge and be aware of its environmental context (O'Donnell, Gilmore, Cummins, & Carson, 2001), as seen application of contingency theories, particularly within entrepreneurial research, continue to increase (Dodd, 1997). There is also evidence of wider calls to base research methods and approaches contingently based within the relevant context, streaming broadly across many areas (O’Donnel & Cummins, 1999). Aligned with this, academically there is increasing recognition of the critical need for international research to acknowledge and be aware of its environmental context (O'Donnell, Gilmore, Cummins, & Carson, 2001).

Yet the opposing view is not discounted, fundamentally, at the end of the day we are all people, so ultimately the over sweeping generalised, standardised model approach of yesteryear would stand to be explained as deductive reasoning. However we know better and even more driving than that, the interconnectedness of today’s societies creates the issues related to such “unknowable pervasiveness” (Kolb, 2008). Kolb (2002) describes this phenomena as, ‘an interconnected world brings uncertainty as one cannot ever fully grasp the implications of the multitudinous and varied connections. Referred to largely, especially within historical network considerations, the concept of embeddedness also relates to similar constructs.

Embeddedness is the process of becoming part of social structure; social networks provide mechanism for becoming embedded, which in turn allows nascent entrepreneurs to gain credibility, knowledge and experience (Jack & Anderson, 2002). Whilst being largely saturated through various areas of the literature and widely within research fields, for the most part it appears the overarching majority of reviews, studies and conceptual models throughout, force constructs to simplify and restrict understandings of the concepts we experience in a practical sense

(podcast). They appear to have over jumped the starting gun and as such overly narrowed and categorised understandings, encouraging the kind of disparity in research areas seen today.


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