Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which are technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally sustainable and help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified according to their availability — they are categorized into renewable and non-renewable resources. They can also be classified as actual and potential based on the level of development and use; based on origin they can be classified as biotic and abiotic, and based on their distribution, as ubiquitous and localised (private, community-owned, national and international resources). An item may become a resource with time and development of technology. The benefits of resource utilization may include increased wealth, proper functioning of a system, or enhanced well-being. From a human perspective, a natural resource is anything obtained from the environment to satisfy human needs and wants. From a broader biological or ecological perspective, a resource satisfies the needs of a living organism (see biological resource).
The concept of resources has been developed across many established areas of work, in economics, biology and ecology, computer science, management, and human resources for example - linked to the concepts of competition, sustainability, conservation, and stewardship. In application within human society, commercial or non-commercial factors require resource allocation through resource management.
The concept of resources can also be tied to the direction of leadership over resources; this may include human resources issues, for which leaders are responsible, in managing, supporting, or directing those matters and the resulting necessary actions. For example, in the cases of professional groups, innovative leaders and technical experts in archiving expertise, academic management, association management, business management, healthcare management, military management, public administration, spiritual leadership and social networking administration.
Resource competition can vary from completely symmetric (all individuals receive the same amount of resources, irrespective of their size, known also as scramble competition) to perfectly size symmetric (all individuals exploit the same amount of resource per unit biomass) to absolutely size asymmetric (the largest individuals exploit all the available resource).
There are three fundamental differences between economic versus ecological views: 1) the economic resource definition is human-centered (anthropocentric) and the biological or ecological resource definition is nature-centered (biocentric or ecocentric); 2) the economic view includes desire along with necessity, whereas the biological view is about basic biological needs; and 3) economic systems are based on markets of currency exchanged for goods and services, whereas biological systems are based on natural processes of growth, maintenance, and reproduction.
Main article: Resource (computer science)
A computer resource is any physical or virtual component of limited availability within a computer or information management system. Computer resources include means for input, processing, output, communication, and storage.
Main article: Natural resource
Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many natural resources are essential for human survival, while others are used to satisfy human desire. Conservation is the management of natural resources with the goal of sustainability. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways.
Resources can be categorized based on origin:
Natural resources are also categorized based on the stage of development:
Natural resources can be categorized based on renewability:
Depending upon the speed and quantity of consumption, overconsumption can lead to depletion or the total and everlasting destruction of a resource. Important examples are agricultural areas, fish and other animals, forests, healthy water and soil, cultivated and natural landscapes. Such conditionally renewable resources are sometimes classified as a third kind of resource or as a subtype of renewable resources. Conditionally renewable resources are presently subject to excess human consumption and the only sustainable long-term use of such resources is within the so-called zero ecological footprint, where humans use less than the Earth's ecological capacity to regenerate.
Natural resources are also categorized based on distribution:
Actual vs. potential natural resources are distinguished as follows:
Based on ownership, resources can be classified as individual, community, national, and international.
In economics, labor or human resources refers to the human effort in the production of goods and rendering of services. Human resources can be defined in terms of skills, energy, talent, abilities, or knowledge.
In a project management context, human resources are those employees responsible for undertaking the activities defined in the project plan.
In economics, capital goods or capital are "those durable produced goods that are in turn used as productive inputs for further production" of goods and services. A typical example is the machinery used in a factory. At the macroeconomic level, "the nation's capital stock includes buildings, equipment, software, and inventories during a given year." Capitals are the most important economic resource.
Whereas, tangible resources such as equipment have an actual physical existence, intangible resources such as corporate images, brands and patents, and other intellectual properties exist in abstraction.
Typically resources cannot be consumed in their original form, but rather through resource development they must be processed into more usable commodities and usable things. The demand for resources is increasing as economies develop. There are marked differences in resource distribution and associated economic inequality between regions or countries, with developed countries using more natural resources than developing countries. Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment. Sustainable development means that we should exploit our resources carefully to meet our present requirement without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The practice of the three R's – reduce, reuse, and recycle must be followed to save and extend the availability of resources.
Various problems are related to the usage of resources:
Various benefits can result from the wise usage of resources: