Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 355–366 | Cite as

Innovation Versus Environmental Protection Presumptions

  • David L. Hawk


The paper is about negotiating with issues that discourage innovation. The subject is environmental deterioration, with concern directed at the impediments that keep it from being innovatively resolved. The paper is organized around three issues. (1) The dominant model of environmental concern, called environmental protection, is managed predominantly via command and control approaches. (2) Command and control, by relying on analytical segmentation to subdivide the problem into digestible bits and using formal legislation to direct it, are not up to emerging challenges in the area. (3) More robust models are available but difficult to experiment with due to impediments that discourage change. These impediments are seen in ideals associated with protection, prevention, recycling, and sustainability that tend to do more to sustain harmful practices than to seek beneficial alternatives. Being able to appreciate the underlying restrictions of entropy could help stimulate a more innovative agenda. These issues are tested via a project funded by the EPA entitled ENERGY STAR Homes.

appreciation change environment entropy experimentation impediments innovation negotiation values 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Hawk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of ManagementNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark
  2. 2.Department of Industrial ManagementHelsinki University of TechnologyFinland

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