The 21st Century is witnessing dramatic climatic changes and impacts upon society and business. In addition, the world is losing its biodiversity at an alarming rate and global pollution is presenting increasing threats to human health. The consequence for the modern business organisation is that the profit maximisation focus is becoming challenged by a need to balance this aspiration with the need to remain as a legitimate business in the eyes of the public. Remember it is the public who are the consumers and customers and it is they who are becoming increasingly aware of the threat to human existance associated with environmental threats, especially climate change. In the coming decades these issues will intensify and businesses will need to profitable and not only need to reduce their environmental impact but will have to demonstrate to an increasingly aware public that they are behaving in a postive way to the natural environment.
Against this backdrop, the essay question asks – What challenges do environmental issues present to businesses? What are the implications of the external environment and the stakeholder environment? Do you think theories of the early proponents of management (see Chapter 2 and the journal articles about Henri Fayol below) present insights to managing these challenges OR do you think new ways of thinking are needed.
The essay does not demand that you use the Henri Fayol journal articles extensively, nor do you have to write paragraph after paragraph on Henri Fayol and his management theories. It does however demand that you have looked at some of the journal articles listed below on Henri Fayol and demonstrate that you are informed and understand what his theories were all about. You can do this simply in one paragraph discribing Henri Fayol as an early instigator of a prescriptive and formal approach to managing organisations and perhaps give some examples of his key principles. You can even write the paragraph in general terms from say three journal articles describing the key themes and then at the end reference for example as (Wren, 2001; Parker and Ritson, 2005; xxx 2010). Or a sentence from one author referenced and then another sentence referenced from another author. Tie the sentence together. That will be enough to provide foundation for the developing the rest of your essay which is much more about showing that you understand the external environment which can be drawn from the textbook chapter 3, journal articles and other respected articles. Leave out Wikipedi and untrustworthy websites that have no verifiable way of knowing that the information is correct. Then you can discuss case studies, books, journal articles and other materials on climate change and then you can give your own opinions (supported with the literature that informed those opinions) whether you believe that the traditional management thinking has something to offer managers in tackling climate change and the way it will impact businesses.
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