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Shadow spaces for social learning: a relational understanding of adaptive capacity to climate change within organisations

Pelling, Mark, High, Chris, Dearing, John and Smith, Denis (2007) Shadow spaces for social learning: a relational understanding of adaptive capacity to climate change within organisations Environment and Planning A, 40, (4), pp. 867-884. (doi:10.1068/a39148).

Record type: Article


Recent UK government policy on climate change, and wider policy movement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, emphasise the building of adaptive capacity. But what are the institutional constraints that shape capacity to build adaptive organisa- tions? The authors synthesise theory from social learning and institutional aspects of multilevel environmental governance to help unpack the patterns of individual and collective action within organisations that can enhance or restrict organisational adaptive capacity in the face of abrupt climate change. Theoretical synthesis is grounded by empirical work with a local dairy farmers group and two supporting public sector bodies that are both local actors in their own rights and which also shape the operating environment for other local actors (the Environment Agency and the Welsh Assembly and Assembly-sponsored public bodies). Providing space within and between local organi- sations for individuals to develop private as well as officially sanctioned social relationships is supported as a pathway to enable social learning. It is also a resource for adaptation that requires little financial investment but does call for a rethinking of the personal skills and working routines that are incentivised within organisations.

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Published date: 2007


Local EPrints ID: 55708
ISSN: 0308-518X
PURE UUID: 28579735-f90c-4099-82b1-7b86ddac5054
ORCID for John Dearing: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 05 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:32

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Author: Mark Pelling
Author: Chris High
Author: John Dearing ORCID iD
Author: Denis Smith

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