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Perspectives on Energy and Environment Risks with Implications for Canadian Energy Development

Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, Forthcoming

19 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2014 Last revised: 3 Dec 2016

Joel Gehman

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Lianne M. Lefsrud

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Chang Lu

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: September 1, 2015

Abstract

Risk has become a central concern for businesses, regulators and communities. At one level, risk is about numbers and information. But at another level, risk is about narratives and meanings. In this paper, we describe four risk perspectives: technical, economic, perceptual, and cultural. Technical and economic perspectives inform techno-economic approaches to risk, whereas perceptual and cultural perspectives inform socio-cultural approaches to risk. We argue that understanding energy and environmental risks requires consideration of information and meaning, and numbers and narratives. We illustrate these perspectives with a brief case study of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster and consider Canadian energy development debates. The discussion suggests that risks within and across societies — whether at a given point in time, or dynamically over time — can be more fully explained by going beyond techno-economic conceptualizations of risk through consideration of socio-cultural issues.

Keywords: risk, energy, environment, nuclear power, culture

JEL Classification: D81, Q4, N5, O13, M14, A14

Suggested Citation

Gehman, Joel and Lefsrud, Lianne M. and Lounsbury, Michael and Lu, Chang, Perspectives on Energy and Environment Risks with Implications for Canadian Energy Development (September 1, 2015). Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2508488 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2508488

Joel Gehman (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
(780) 248-5855 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.joelgehman.com

Lianne Lefsrud

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Chang Lu

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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