Institutional Constraints to Adaptive Capacity: Adaptability to Climate Change in the Norwegian Electricity Sector

Local Environment, Vol 16, No 4, 2011, pp. 303-319

Adaptive capacity to climate change is still an evolving concept. This article contributes to the understanding of adaptive capacity within national sectors by developing a theoretical framework consisting of two perspectives from organisation theory. The framework is used on the Norwegian electricity industry for the purpose of illustration. Together the two perspectives illuminate formal structure and institutional dimensions of adaptive capacity, showing that barriers to adaptation exist within the Norwegian sector; both within the formal regulatory structure as well as the legitimating cultural sphere of the organisational field. These barriers have developed over time and should be taken account of both to understand important dimensions of adaptive capacity and to provide practitioners with an ability to increase it.