Just as fascination with the tool-box plays an important role in the environmental management field, so does the promotion of various environmental management doctrines, each of which seems, for years and from local to global policy arenas, to organise thinking and action about environmental management issues.
We should note in passing that this succession of fashionable management doctrines is shared with management in general, as demonstrate some enlighting and amusing books about management doctrines in the corporate context.
This is not to say that such doctrines have no useful contributions, but that they have to be put in perspective by theoretically and empirically grounded work. This is precisely one object of management research – in our case, of environmental management research. SEMA-based strategic analysis of environmental management situations provides a perspective that is particularly relevant because it shares the performance objectives of environmental management doctrines, but provides a clear framework on how to account for performance.
Raphaël Billé‘s long-standing and very thorough work on Integrated Coastal Zone Management – the doctrine that has been hegemonic globally on the management of coastal environmental issues – provides a great example of this critical analysis of environmental management doctrines. He shows some illusions of IGZM, the insidious re-sectorization process that may be at play behind a facade of integartion, and he proposes a framework to overcome the risk of going off course with integrated management.