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Communicating overshoot and collapse: based on a review of Richard A. Slaughter's The Biggest Wake‐up Call in History

James W. Breaux (Based at the Future Studies Program, College of Technology, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 9 August 2013




The purpose of this paper is to look at the communications strategy of the wake up call suggested by Slaughter and to explore alternatives and other perspectives on its transmissions and receptions.


This review uses a topical literature survey and synthesis method to critique conventional vs integral‐type communications strategies and suggests alternatives.


Communications are tricky. The alignment of the sender and receiver are crucial and can be improved or degraded depending on the contextual framework of each, as well as the perceived agency and interaction of the sender/receiver actors.

Research limitations/implications

This work was accomplished from the single viewpoint of the author, with literature references and a US‐centric, western bias.

Practical implications

The discussion about the variety of communication stratagem from the perspective of the receiver and, the context of the message, as well as the motivation of the sender may provoke changes which in turn could allow greater chance for success in establishing a glide path to sustainability.


This work is referenced to highlight the work of others, including the author of the book reviewed. The synthesis and suggested communications approach is original to the author of the paper.



Breaux, J.W. (2013), "Communicating overshoot and collapse: based on a review of Richard A. Slaughter's The Biggest Wake‐up Call in History", On the Horizon, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 209-213.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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