Do We Need a ‘New Strategy Paradigm’? No


Bansal et al.’s Point piece, “Strategy’s Ecological Fallacy: How strategy scholars have contributed to the ecological crisis and what we can do about it,” calls for reforming the strategy field to focus on the natural environment, ecological cycles, and interconnections across natural and social levels, in service of value creation for ‘a defined ecosystem that comprises respect for the natural environment’. We doubt that such new foundations are necessary or useful. We argue that Bansal et al. misconstrue the evolution and content of strategy thinking; downplay the usefulness of existing tools for dealing with their issues of concern; overlook problems of measurement, collective action, government failure, and cronyism encouraged by their preferred policies; embrace an unnecessarily alarmist worldview; and underappreciate the social benefits of the market-based institutions they criticize. We suggest instead that a market system based on clearly delineated property rights, prices that freely adjust to reflect scarcities, and an institutional environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation remains an underappreciated instrument for protection of the natural environment, one that is superior to centralized and regulatory alternatives.