Can organisations pave the way for sustainability in communities?

Mary Bonich, Julia Irwin, Louise Metcalf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

Organisations are increasingly being asked to respond to local environmental issues, however, due to competing interests, initiatives that are led by organisations can often be viewed with skepticism and mistrust. In addition, research on organisationally led initiatives to respond positively to environmental issues is lacking. Using qualitative methodology, this case study explores the drivers of a successful sustainable water allocation strategy implemented in the town of Griffith NSW, part of the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, facilitated by the local irrigation authority. Content analysis indicated that community engagement in the initial planning and scoping phase was an important step in fostering support and project success. Furthermore, equity in engagement, and facilitation via a combined top-down/bottom-up management style, increased trust. Organisational understanding of the needs of each stakeholder group appeared to generate better engagement in the project, regardless of project outcomes, indicating that authentic consultation was a significant factor. This research suggests that increasing openness and transparency between the organisation and community has a strong connection to an organisation’s successful facilitation of environmental sustainability and that, given the appropriate stimulus, communities can “emerge” their own sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Sustainable Leadership, 2014 Salzburg, June 3-6
EditorsLorne Butt, Gayle C. Avery
Place of PublicationPymble, NSW
PublisherInstitute for Sustainable Leadership
Pages45-60
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780987461841
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (9th : 2014) - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 3 Jun 20146 Jun 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (9th : 2014)
CitySalzburg, Austria
Period3/06/146/06/14

Keywords

  • Murray Darling Basin
  • sustainability
  • stakeholder engagement
  • organisationally led initiatives

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  • Cite this

    Bonich, M., Irwin, J., & Metcalf, L. (2014). Can organisations pave the way for sustainability in communities? In L. Butt, & G. C. Avery (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Sustainable Leadership, 2014 Salzburg, June 3-6 (pp. 45-60). Pymble, NSW: Institute for Sustainable Leadership.