Communicative aspects of environmental management by objectives: Examples from the Swedish context
2006 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, Vol. 37, no 4, 461-469 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Management by objectives (MBO) is a technique for integrating ecological concerns into national political and administrative structures. Politicians determine environmental objectives and interim targets to be implemented and assessed by civil servants in national, regional, and local contexts. Well-developed organizational communication is a prerequisite for MBO. However, communication-related obstacles can arise when using MBO in public environmental management. We examine communicative aspects of environmental MBO, looking specifically at the implementation, administration, and assessment of Swedish environmental quality objectives. Our argument is illustrated by quotations from individual and focus group interviews. We conclude that communicative problems may arise, because different actors interpret messages from different perspectives, depending on their agendas, prior knowledge and experience, and positions in the administrative system. It is crucial to recognize the dialogical aspects of communication, by involving the receiver of a message in a process of response. In addition, the different timeframes underlying different arguments could contribute to misunderstandings between actors involved in handling environmental issues. In assessing the achievement of environmental objectives, indicators are used as communicative tools. It is important to investigate whether and how these indicators contribute to the de- and recontextualization of environmental objectives. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 37, no 4, 461-469 p.
management by objectives (MBO), environmental quality objectives, communication, recontextualization, indicators
National CategorySocial Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-36619DOI: 10.1007/s00267-004-0386-1Local ID: 31865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-36619DiVA: diva2:257468