SEA and strategy formation theories: From three Ps to five Ps

TitleSEA and strategy formation theories: From three Ps to five Ps
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCherp, A., A. Watt, and V. Vinichenko
Journal titleEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Pages624 - 644

A transition to environmentally sustainable societies should involve a significant and comprehensive — strategic — change. Much of the promise of SEA is associated precisely with its perceived capacity to facilitate such a strategic transformation by influencing selected ‘strategic decisions’. This paper examines the potential effectiveness and limitations of such an approach in light of contemporary organizational strategy theories. Most of these theories separate ‘strategies’ from ‘decisions’ and also transcend the notion of strategies as formal plans, policies and programs (PPPs). Instead, they consider strategies as “five Ps”, adding “Position”, “Perspective”, “Pattern” and “Ploy” to the “Plan”. Lessons from organizational strategy formation give rise to the following challenges for SEA theory and practice:1.How to assess and influence informal as well as formal aspects of strategic initiatives?2.How to extend SEA ‘beyond decisions’ to address ‘emergent strategies’ where strategic action is not necessarily preceded by a decision?3.How to ensure that knowledge provided as a result of SEA is strategically relevant and communicated to key players in strategy formation?4.How to deal with an uncontrollable and unpredictable environment in which strategic initiatives unfold?5.How to recognize those situations when SEA can have most strategic influence?


Accession Number: 12498436; Authors: Cherp, Aleh 1 Watt, Alan 2 Vinichenko, Vadim 3; Author Affiliations: 1: Central European University, Hungary and International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, Sweden 2: Central European University, Hungary 3: Ecoline Environmental Assessment Center, Russia

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Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy