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ERIC Number: EJ922569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
The Dynamics of Climate Change: A Case Study in Organisational Learning
Wasdell, David
Learning Organization, v18 n1 p10-20 2011
Purpose: Based in the discipline of applied consultancy-research, this paper seeks to present a synthesis-review of the social dynamics underlying the stalled negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its aim is to enhance understanding of the processes involved, to offer a working agenda to the organizational learning community, and to act as a dynamic and interpretive intervention in the negotiation process. Design/methodology/approach: The methodological approach draws on a wide range of tools from the consultancy-research domain including force-field analysis of complex social behaviour, informal interviews, direct participation, existential reflection and process analysis, delineation of power dynamics, literature survey and psychoanalytic exploration of the irrational and unconscious factors involved. Findings: Several findings emerged from the consultancy research. The force-field analysis revealed the intensity of polarisation experienced at every point of the negotiation. Economic vested interests and political dynamics blocked all possibility of effective decision making and drove irrational attacks on the validity of climate science as a way of manipulating public opinion. The influence of unconscious factors was paramount, rooted in the re-stimulation of collective pre-traumatic-stress disorder, and mediated via a set of social defences against anxiety. Research limitations/implications: Significant limitations in the methodology concern the level of subjectivity involved. The development of working hypotheses was exposed to constant review to check for researcher-specific projection and selectivity of significant data. Practical implications: The practical implications of the paper for the development and application of organizational learning are spelled out in the final section. Particular attention is drawn to the need to take account of irrational and unconscious phenomena driving social psychodynamics. Originality/value: The paper represents profoundly original work, emanating from the author's wide-ranging involvement in the content and process of the international climate-change negotiations. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A