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dc.contributor.advisorKrause, Rachel
dc.contributor.advisorDaley, Dorothy
dc.contributor.authorPark, Young Shin
dc.date.accessioned2020-03-29T17:10:45Z
dc.date.available2020-03-29T17:10:45Z
dc.date.issued2019-05-31
dc.date.submitted2019
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:16612
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/30220
dc.description.abstractAs we are more than a decade into describing and understanding local sustainability as a major phenomenon, local governments now face new challenges as they begin moving from commitment (i.e. stage of adopting sustainability goals and initiatives) to action (i.e. stage of implementing those). Research on post-adoption challenges is slowly emerging yet is still far from constituting a concrete understanding of the effective implementation of sustainability programs. This dissertation helps fill these gaps. It identifies the needs and challenges facing local governments in realizing their sustainability goals and, more importantly, investigates institutional conditions that may ease these challenges. In particular, it examines the following two topics that are known to be critical, yet challenging to achieve, for the effective implementation of sustainability programs: collaboration and performance management. The broad definition of sustainability, as embedded in its three-legged stool trope – environment, economy, and equity – means that many sustainability pogroms are likely to exist beyond the sole purview of a single department. In fact, according to a recent study, some cities have created an office entirely responsible for sustainability management, but in most cases, sustainability program management is diffused across several departments, such as land-use management, water quality control, and infrastructure maintenance. Thus, while the cross-cutting nature of sustainability necessitates collaboration among local departments involved in sustainability management, this can be challenging given the functionally departmentalized structures commonly found in our local governments. Therefore, two chapters of this dissertation examine how various institutional arrangements and conditions shape inter-departmental collaboration in sustainability management with one at the implementation stage (Chapter 1) and the other at the evaluation stage (Chapter 3). Performance management is another topic that is under-researched in sustainability literature despite its potential to advance local sustainability efforts. The data-driven approach to sustainability management is rising, as found through multiple publications of best practices and case studies, yet research evidence as to what conditions effective sustainability performance management occurs under is largely lacking, especially employing large-N data. Chapter 2 thus investigates how local governments are using performance information for sustainability management and what institutional conditions may promote such evidence-based practice using information from their performance management systems. Through the examination of the three research questions, this dissertation provides an empirical understanding of local governments’ sustainability efforts at post-adoption stages and, more importantly, identifies various institutional factors that may impede or advance efforts. In order to better assess the connection between institutional conditions and managerial practices, this dissertation employs two prominent institutional theories: rational-choice institutionalism that focuses on the role of formal institutions, such as structure, mechanisms, and resources, for understanding organizational behavior, and sociological institutionalism that broadly considers and emphasizes informal institutions, such as culture, personal networks, and symbol systems that convey meanings and social cues (Hall and Taylor 1996; Lounsbury and Ventresca 2003). Overall, this dissertation provides supporting evidence for the latter in fostering a collaborative, data-driven approach to sustainability management (CH1 and CH2). Yet, it also finds that these cultural and social cues must be directly tied to the specific action or change an organization desires to make (CH2 and CH3). This point is further confirmed in the cases of formal institutions. While formal institutions tend to have relationships that are either indirect (CH1) or of small magnitude (CH2 and CH3) with the outcome of interest in each chapter, the magnitudes of the relationships are fairly substantial when designed to target a specific action (CH3). Overall, on a theoretical level, this dissertation contributes to the rich collection of institutional studies by employing prominent theoretical perspectives and providing empirical evidence from an under-researched topic area: sustainability. This dissertation reveals a complex picture of an institutional environment where local governments translate ambiguous sustainability goals into concrete plans and actions. The implications of the study findings are discussed for both practice and future research. On a practical level, this dissertation utilizes several original large-N datasets and explores the needs for and drivers of collaborative and data-driven management of sustainability programs beyond the anecdotal evidence found in case studies and best practices. While qualitative evidence offers an invaluable source of understanding of local sustainability efforts, its limitation in generalizing findings requires co-efforts from quantitative research to establish a robust and systematic body of research evidence for effective sustainability management. This dissertation, therefore, suggests some potential ways in which our local governments can design their institutional contexts in such a way that they help them realize sustainability goals they arduously put in place.
dc.format.extent137 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsCopyright held by the author.
dc.subjectPublic administration
dc.subjectPublic policy
dc.subjectSustainability
dc.subjectCollaboration
dc.subjectInformation Sharing
dc.subjectLocal Governments
dc.subjectPerformance Management
dc.subjectSustainability
dc.subjectUrban Management
dc.titleBeyond Adoption: The Influence of Local Institutional Arrangements on Sustainability Policy Implementation and Management
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberO’Leary, Rosemary
dc.contributor.cmtememberFeiock, Richard
dc.contributor.cmtememberMaley, Corey
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplinePublic Administration
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
dc.identifier.orcid
dc.rights.accessrightsembargoedAccess


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