A review of collaborative planning approaches for transformative change towards a sustainable future

Martina K. Linnenluecke*, Martie-Louise Verreynne, Margarietha J. de Villiers Scheepers, Chanel Venter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Finding the means to address growing environmental and social problems requires new collaborative approaches to planning that consider global resource constraints and an uncertain future. This paper presents a review of 622 articles on organizational planning approaches for achieving a sustainable future, and organizes this literature into a taxonomy of four planning approaches (predictive, adaptive, visionary, and transformational planning) and their associated planning tools or methodologies. While the most prominent theme among the reviewed literature is that transformational change is necessary to address the sustainability challenges of the future, this review identifies a lack of planning approaches that: (1) connect planning to ecological limits; (2) provide guidance for tackling the sustainability challenges in developing countries; and (3) offer guidance to private sector organizations about how to engage in broader planning debates on societal levels. From these findings, a future research agenda is proposed that examines how organizations can plan for a sustainable future, establish a fit between planning approaches, tools and sustainability challenges, adapt governance and organizational structures for transformative change, and design for and facilitate future change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3212-3224
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative planning
  • Strategic planning
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable future
  • Systematic review


Dive into the research topics of 'A review of collaborative planning approaches for transformative change towards a sustainable future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this