Institutional-Political Scenarios for Anthropocene Society
Hoffman, A., and P.D. Jennings (2018) “Institutional-political scenarios for Anthropocene society,” Business & Society, doi.org/10.1177/0007650318816468
49 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2017 Last revised: 12 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 2018
Natural scientists have proposed that humankind has entered a new geologic epoch. Termed the “Anthropocene,” this new reality revolves around the central role of human activity in multiple Earth ecosystems. That challenge requires a rethinking of social science explanations of organization and environment relationships. In this article, we discuss the need to politicize institutional theory as a means understanding “Anthropocene Society,” and in turn what that resultant society means for the Anthropocene in the natural environment. We modify the constitutive elements of institutional orders and a set of main change mechanisms to explore three scenarios around which future Anthropocene Societies might be built – Collapsing Systems, Market Rules, and Cultural Re-Enlightenment. Simultaneously, we use observations from the Anthropocene to expose limitations in present institutional theory and propose extensions to remedy them. Overall, this article challenges organizational scholars to consider a new paradigm under which research in environmental sustainability and social sustainability takes place.
Keywords: Institutional Theory, Anthropocene, Anthropocene Society, Organizational Fields, Institutions, Institutional Change, Archetypes, Scenarios
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