Focal Area: Natural Resource Scarcity, Security, and Sustainability

The last decade has witnessed unprecedented volatility in resource prices, with the market price of oil, for instance, vaulting from $10 per barrel in the late 1990s to over $100 in 2008, then crashing to nearly $30 in early 2009 before rising again. The implications of such volatility for U.S. firms are broad - changing consumers' purchase preferences globally, altering the cost-benefit equation in capital investment decisions, and affecting the U.S. market growth and target markets abroad. Such boom and bust cycles also have a major impact on the investment strategy, development planning, and economic growth of resource-importing and resource-exporting developing countries.

U.S. managers and policy-makers are also increasingly concerned about the vulnerability that dependence on foreign energy creates for the home economy, and there have been widespread calls to lower the country's reliance on fossil fuels. Related questions that arise are:

  • How would policies to encourage renewable energy affect the global investment strategies and competitiveness of U.S. Firms?

  • What approaches are likely to be more successful for encouraging environmentally-sustainable business expansion in developing countries?

  • What approaches are likely to be more successful for encouraging environmentally-sustainable business expansion in developing countries?

  • What are the conditions under which multinational corporations shrink , maintain, or increase their global 'carbon footprint' when they expand manufacturing operations overseas?

GW-CIBER's geographic location provides the center with unique research opportunities to advance practitioner training, education, and research in this focal area.