Management And Accounting Web

McKeon, A. and G. Ranney. 2013. Ongoing Discussion "Thought Piece". Thinking about management from a climate change perspective. Presentation at Aerojet Rocketdyne's InThinking Network. (September): 1-29.

Note by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Deming's Management Theory | Environmental Cost | Social Accounting

This is an interesting discussion of human-induced climate change and how companies can deal with this issue. According to McKeon and Ranney, "climate change is the consequence of a lack of appreciation for the interdependence between the global economic system and the earth's biosphere." One approach to climate change is referred to as "business as usual". However, the recommended approach is based on Deming's theory of profound knowledge. A summary of two approaches is provided in a table at the end of the paper. An adaptation of the table appears below.

Business as Usual Using Profound Knowledge
Focus on competition Alert to opportunities for "coopetition"
Management through division
and compartmentalization
Management informed by an understanding
of interrelationships and interdependencies
Management sees disparate economic,
social and environmental security needs
Management realizes the interdependence of economic, social and environmental security
Management sees the future of business like the past, e.g., ever increasing in energy intensity Management examines potentialities for a transition from energy intensity to
information intensity
Addressing climate change is seen as a burden, putting American business at a disadvantage, killing U.S. jobs Addressing climate change is seen as a transformational opportunity to build a sustainable U.S. economy and
boost global competitiveness
A quick solution to climate change
would be to geo-engineer the climate
to align with human needs
The long term solution to climate change
is to align the human economy with
the workings of the biosphere
Appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer Executives learn about climate change
and sustainability and accept responsibility
to lead the organization's efforts
Business is highly quantifiable and the
task is to manage what you measure
The greatest gains and losses cannot be measured, but they must be managed
Profit is the aim of a well-managed business Profit is a consequence of managing well


To download a pdf version of the paper go to

For a Note about the Thinking Roadmap see

Related summaries:

Bayou, M. E. and J. B. Nachtman. 1992. Costing for manufacturing wastes. Journal of Cost Management (Summer): 53-62. (Summary).

Boer, G., M. Curtin and L. Hoyt. 1998. Environmental cost management. Management Accounting (September): 28-30, 32, 34, 36 and 38. (Summary).

Epstein, M. J. and S. D. Young. 1999. Greening with EVA. Management Accounting (January): 45-49. (Summary).

Hughes, S. B. and D. M. Willis. 1995. How quality control concepts can reduce environmental expenditures. Journal of Cost Management (Summer): 15-19. (Summary).

Johnson, H. T. 2006. Sustainability and "Lean Operations". Cost Management (March/April): 40-45. (Summary).

Johnson, H. T. 2012. A global system growing itself to death - and what we can do about it. The Systems Thinker (May): 2-6. (Summary).

Kite, D. 1995. Capital budgeting: Integrating environmental impact. Journal of Cost Management (Summer): 11-14. (Summary).

Lanen, W. N. 1999. Waste minimization at 3M Company: A field study of nonfinancial performance measurement. Journal of Management Accounting Research (11): 29-43. (Summary).

Lawrence, J. E. and D. Cerf. 1995. Management and reporting of environmental liabilities. Management Accounting (August): 48-54. (Summary).

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Russell Ackoff quotes and f-laws. Management And Accounting Web.

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Russell Ackoff: What is a system? Videos. (Note).

Reinhardt, F. L. 1999. Bringing the environment down to earth. Harvard Business Review (July-August): 149-157. (Summary).