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Communicative aspects of environmental management by objectives: Examples from the Swedish context
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Länsstyrelsen, Södermanland.
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
2006 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, Vol. 37, no 4, 461-469 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
management by objectives (MBO), environmental quality objectives, communication, recontextualization, indicators
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-36619DOI: 10.1007/s00267-004-0386-1Local ID: 31865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-36619DiVA: diva2:257468
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2010-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Wibeck, VictoriaJohansson, MadelaineÖberg, Gunilla

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Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research Department of Water and Environmental StudiesFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Tema Institute
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