Despite the fact that since the early 1970s environmental problems have been recognised as legitimate phenomena, they have not really attracted serious attention among industrialists and management theorists until the beginning of the 1990s. During the last ten years industry has been central in shaping a new corporate environmentalism and, ten years on, we argue that it is time to step back and critically assess the nature and scope of corporate actions and scientific research within the field of corporate environmental management. This paper starts from the assertions that: (i) disturbing evidence indicates that the carrying capacity of the environment in several respects is being surpassed, and (ii) environmental progress is hindered by an immanent self-interest of human beings (the producers and the consumers, respectively). Based on epistemological as well as empirical analyses, the paper concludes that the industry has succeeded in taking over the environmental debate and turned it into a question of self-regulated eco-modernist actions.
Proceedings of the International Conference of Systems Thinking in Management, 2000
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The International Conference of Systems Thinking in Management. Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, 2000