Additional Challenges for CEMIS Due to Impacts Caused by Climate Change

Additional Challenges for CEMIS Due to Impacts Caused by Climate Change

Irene Antoni-Komar (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany), Marina Beermann (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany) and Hedda Schattke (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-981-1.ch005

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to evaluate how CEMIS could be enhanced to cope with impacts caused by climate change. In our time, firms have to deal with the resulting challenges such as increasing complexity and dynamics of the environment. By developing cultural competences, firms will be empowered to handle these new challenges appropriately. CEMIS itself as a managerial tool has an excellent potential to increase organizational resilience against vulnerabilities due to impacts caused by climate change. CEMIS could provide climate change scenarios for different impacts in global and regional dimensions. Scenarios as alternative images of how the future might unfold are an appropriate tool to analyze how driving forces may influence future emission outcomes and to assess the associated uncertainties and risks. They assist in climate change analysis, including climate modeling and the assessment of impacts, adaptation and mitigation. Theoretical enlargements of the CEMIS concept will be discussed by resilience thinking, which is promising for CEMIS because of its turning away from the equilibrium assumption, its widespread comprehension of the environment and its influences, its assumption of flexibility and adaptiveness through the adaptive capacity. The discussion will be exemplified by firms from the food industry, which are highly vulnerable towards direct and also indirect impacts caused by climate change along certain supply chains. Changing qualities and quantities of resources, temporary shortage of resources or conflicts between energy and food can all have drastic effects on firms in the food industry. Supported by CEMIS as a critical information system, emerging conflicts due to changing societal and cultural processes can be recognized sensitively, reflected critically, and reconfigured creatively to the aim of sustainable strategic management. Based on the theory of social practice and the competence theory of the firm, the development of cultural competences, as an integral part of the practical intelligibility of firms and as a learning concept for adaptive capacity, enables firms to handle these new challenges in times of expanding uncertainty and risk appropriately.
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The Idea Of Resilience

The resilience concept originates from ecosystem science. The ecologists Eugene P. Odum (cf. Odum, 1971) and C.S. Holling described how ecosystems by means of homeostatic mechanisms organize themselves in order to reach an ecological balance. Holling (1973) developed a model that was designed to interpret the dynamics and resilience of complex ecosystems, which are thought to go through phases of an “adaptive cycle”. The model is based on two dimensions, connectedness and accumulated capital, which determine the growth, conservation, release and reorganization phases of ecosystems.

It can be assumed that complex ecosystems move from rapid growth to a mature phase designated conservation. While developing this phase, an ecosystem would become more rigid, thereby making the system more vulnerable. Eventually, a disturbance would cause sudden collapse, which would be followed by reorganization. Depending on the specific circumstances, the system would then restart the adaptive cycle or move into a new configuration. In this context, the system’s resilience refers to the amount of change a system can undergo while maintaining its function and structure (cf. Holling, 1973). On the one hand, the concept of resilience clarifies that change is taken as something that has to be handled and on the other hand it points out the vulnerabilities of systems. For business management the concept of resilience is promising due to

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