This proposal responds to the BILAT program by laying out a novel project by combining the concepts of change, uncertainty and the complexity in organizations, emphasizing the connection between political, security issues, and economical patterns of devel opments in the High North. This proposal anticipates failure and success in the energy sector and what we might learn about it. To deliver a product, data from subject matter experts, in Norway, Russia, and the U.S., concerning success and failure will b e collected. Our proposed project aims to contribute to the development of a more efficient and environmentally sound energy sector because it focuses on activities related to technology, national policy development, market issues, and environmental cons equences. Given the importance of Norway's natural resources, both failure and success has implications for our country.
All organizations fail from time to time, and only in retrospect are people able to make sense of what actually went wrong and why. Organizations learn a great deal from such retrospective sensemaking. Yet, given constant uncertainty and dynamic surroundings, they will never be able totally prevent future failures. Thus, the aim of this research is to learn more about how organizat ions learn from mistakes, and how this impacts how organizations prepare, or handle, this uncertainty. By focusing on failure in this dimension, we can better understand why things go wrong. Another central theme from the complexity research deals with the importance of paradoxes. So, to talk about failure without talking about success, will be too narrow. In this picture, success and failure is part of the same representation, and is highly dynamic due to internal and external forces.
In addition to the proposed research goals of this project, we will work with a cadre of graduate students in Norway, Russia and the U.S., to develop their methodological and conceptual knowledge bases on the topic.