Strategic Management Essay

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1 Introduction Strategic planning and management of environmental resources is a complex activity which usually requires the application of multi-criteria analysis (MCA) for evaluating alternative development scenarios against a set of decisional criteria. In particular, planning and management of water and river basins usually deals with multiple and conflicting issues which are concerned with territorial, economic, environmental, social components. The list of issues mentioned by the EU directive on strategic environmental assessment (SEA) (SEA Directive 2001/42/EC, 2001) includes, alongside “traditional” issues such biodiversity, flora and fauna, population, health, water, soil, landscape, aspects related to mobility, energy efficiency, climatic change which are more closely linked to human activities and their impacts on the eco-system. These issues are often interrelated and dependencies can be recognized among the aspects involved. More specifically, in river basin district planning and management, the selection of environmental objectives is influenced by the complex reciprocal interactions between the river basin district conditions and the human (social, economic and cultural) activities. Unfortunately, traditional multicriteria decision-aid techniques are generally based on linear or hierarchical analytical schemes which seem inadequate to represent the complexity which characterized the decision in the field. The paper suggests the application an innovative promising approach, named analytic network process (ANP), an advanced version of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) developed by Thomas Saaty in Pennsylvania. The ANP is the first mathematical theory that makes possible to systematically deal with all kinds of dependencies and feedback among decision elements (Saaty, 2001, 2005). This model seems more appropriate for representing and supporting

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