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Creating Ecological Value
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Creating Ecological Value

An Evolutionary Approach to Business Strategies and the Natural Environment

9781847209726 Edward Elgar Publishing
Frank Boons, Professor of Innovation and Sustainability, University of Manchester and Sustainable Consumption Institute, UK
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84720 972 6 Extent: 224 pp
Firms adopt a wide variety of ecological strategies, ranging from the development of innovative products with reduced environmental impact to lobbying against governmental attempts to set standards for the way in which firms deal with the natural environment. This book explores this variety and is the first to provide a coherent evolutionary approach to the ecological strategies of firms.

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Contents
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Firms adopt a wide variety of ecological strategies, ranging from the development of innovative products with reduced environmental impact to lobbying against governmental attempts to set standards for the way in which firms deal with the natural environment. This book explores this variety and is the first to provide a coherent evolutionary approach to the ecological strategies of firms.

Drawing on insights from organization and management sciences and innovation studies, the author outlines an evolutionary framework enabling a deeper understanding of how firms shape ecological strategies and interact to create inertia or change at the level of systems of production and consumption. This framework is applied to the coffee and automobile production and consumption systems, yielding insight into the complex dynamics through which such systems evolve in dealing with ecological impact. The book advances theoretical insight into business strategies and the natural environment and illuminates the dynamics of production and consumption systems.

Scholars, students and practitioners from organization and management sciences, innovation studies and industrial ecology interested in the relationship between business and the natural environment will find this book invaluable.
Critical Acclaim
‘Boons has produced a thoroughly well researched, informed and informative study on creating economic and ecological value. Written for those interested in business and sustainability whether they be academic faculty, students or business people who have both the interest and time, this book will repay some careful and close reading.’
– John Blewitt, Environmental Values

‘Creating Ecological Value is a timely contribution that matches recent trends in innovation economics suggesting that an evolutionary notion of system innovations and a sector-specific industrial dynamics perspective are a suitable analytical framework for the way in which firms address sustainability challenges through innovation.’
– Marcus Wagner, University of Würzburg, Germany

‘We cannot expect to solve the environmental problems we face today by narrowing our focus on single firms. We need to think more systemically. In his book, Creating Ecological Value, Frank Boons takes on this challenge. While his research begins by exploring the diversity of environmental strategies adopted by companies, he moves his analysis next to the level of the production and consumption systems to understand how these strategies shape and alter them. His work considers how the diffusion of strategies and novel approaches can be facilitated but also finds that the systems into which these strategies are imposed are resilient and, at times, resistant to change. He offers plenty of ideas to ponder as we consider how the market system as a whole addresses environmental issues.’
– Andrew J. Hoffman, The University of Michigan, US

‘Humans as scientists and managers often draw on metaphors to help describe and understand the complex issues they observe or manage. As human activities begin to bump up against the constraints set by natural systems there is a tendency to search for metaphors from natural science – biomimicy or industrial ecology – have been around for some time now. In this book, Frank Boons explores the power of ideas from evolutionary science as metaphor to understand economic systems. This is complex work, but, he does it with skill; remembering that a metaphor is powerful not just in what it explains but even more in what it doesn’t serve to explain.’
– Nigel Roome, Free University of Brussels, Belgium and TiasNimbas Business School, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. How do Firms Create Ecological Value? 2. Definitions of Ecological Value: Patches of History 3. Technological Change and Strategic Perspectives 4. Elements of Strategic Perspectives and the Internal Dynamics of Firms 5. Shaping Strategic Perspectives through Resource Networks 6. The Coffee PCS 7. The Automobile PCS 8. An Evolutionary Approach Towards the Strategic Perspectives of Firms 9. The Future of Creating Ecological Value Bibliography Index
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