Regional Sustainable Development Planning – Is Collective Strategy the Solution to Integrated Planning?
Amelia Clarke
Ph.D. Student
McGill University, Faculty of Management
1001 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Québec H3A 1G5 Canada
1-514-605-1436  amelia.clarke@mail.mcgill.ca
Sustainable development is a concept that requires the cooperation of numerous organizational types to become a reality. Private sector organizations, academic institutions, governments, and non-profits all have roles. This makes it difficult to set corporate level goals of sustainability without a larger network of actors involved. One technique which may offer a solution to multi-organizational sustainable development planning is collective strategy (Astley and Fombrun 1983; Oliver 1988). More recently, literature that builds on collective strategy focuses on inter-organizational relations and inter-organizational networks.

 Ecological approaches to inter-organizational networking include green supply chain management, green procurement, and collective sustainable development strategies. In 1992, Canadian municipalities began adopting regional sustainable development strategies. In some cases, these approaches are inter-organizational; in other cases, they only involve stakeholder consultations. By comparing and contrasting the approaches taken by Halifax and Vancouver, this presentation will highlight the potential of collective strategy. Halifax Regional Municipality is currently developing its first regional municipal strategy. They have taken the “public consultation” approach to stakeholder involvement. Vancouver’s Long-term Plan for Greater Vancouver involves many partners. While their coverage is also geographically based, they developed a network of organizations as part of this public/private/civil sector collaborative that developed the plan. Their long-term plan includes wide ranging topics such as green and clean import/export chains. While this is not Vancouver’s first or only regional plan, by contrasting it to Halifax, the benefits of also having a collective sustainable development strategy can be seen.

 Theoretically, having a collective regional sustainable development strategy might increase the partner’s involvement in implementation towards collective goals, though the diversity of organizational participation might decrease as the stakeholder involvement moves from advice to partnership. The greater the involvement of organizations from different sectors, the more diverse the framework, goal types, perspective, tools, and content will probably be. This provides more opportunity for an integrated economic, ecological and social approach.

 [Presentation: This presentation will contribute to the conference’s critical issue of the roles of various actors in sustainable development planning, and to the specific question of regional sustainable development planning.]


All Submissions
7:00 AM-5:00 PM, Thursday, 20 October 2005, Oral

The Nova Scotia, Canada 2005 Meeting