Institutional tipping points in organizational climate change adaptation processes

Fuenfgeld, H 2017, 'Institutional tipping points in organizational climate change adaptation processes', Journal of Extreme Events, vol. 4, no. 1, 175002-1, pp. 1-29.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Institutional tipping points in organizational climate change adaptation processes
Author(s) Fuenfgeld, H
Year 2017
Journal name Journal of Extreme Events
Volume number 4
Issue number 1
Article Number 175002-1
Start page 1
End page 29
Total pages 29
Publisher World Scientific Publishing
Abstract Despite increasing awareness of the urgency to respond to climate change through adaptation, progress with climate change adaptation differs considerably across social contexts, even within seemingly uniform institutional environments. Only a part of these differences in engaging in adaptation can be explained by differentiated exposure or sensitivity to climate change hazards. Institutions, and institutional change, play important roles in enabling or constraining adaptation at the social group scale. This paper borrows the concept of tipping points from the natural sciences (Lenton et al. 2008; Lenton 2013) and applies it to social processes of climate change adaptation by focusing on processes of institutional change towards and beyond 'institutional' tipping points. Different stages of institutional change, where social groups switch from one dominant attractor regime to another, are discussed and illustrated. Empirical research conducted in two organizations in the local government and primary health care sector in Australia are used as examples for how institutional adaptation occurs and how institutional tipping points can be identified. Reflecting on these examples, the paper reviews the conceptual value-add of the institutional tipping points concept, while also discussing its epistemological and methodological limitations.
Subject Public Administration
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Keyword(s) Institutional change
climate change adaptation
public sector adaptation
institutional inertia
DOI - identifier 10.1142/S2345737617500026
Copyright notice © World Scientific Publishing Company
ISSN 2382-6339
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