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Constructing strategies for sustainable development the communitarian way

Murugesh Arunachalam (Department of Accounting, Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Stewart Lawrence (Department of Accounting, Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 3 July 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to draw on recommendations of Agenda 21 and communitarian theory to examine collaboration between local district community and local authorities to formulate strategies for the sustainable development of the Taupo district.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an interpretative methodology based on philosophical hermeneutic to understand collaboration between local community and local authorities in the Taupo district. Empirical data for this interpretive study comprise public documents, interview transcripts and minutes of meetings attended by the researchers. The paper begins interpretation of empirical data with pre‐understanding of communitarian theory and Agenda 21.

Findings

The findings indicate that historical and political factors and diversity of interests in the community affect processes and outcomes of collaboration. Local authorities play a crucial role in bringing together various groups in the Taupo community which are segregated by diversity of interests, especially between Maori and non‐Maori community groups. Without local authority facilitation, the Taupo community may remain segregated; inhibited by lack of information; and not having the opportunity to participate in sustainable development. Community participation in the Taupo district is at an infancy stage and collaboration intended to empower communities may result in local authorities recentralising their positions.

Originality/value

The paper integrates theory and practice and provides valuable insights for statutory agencies seeking to implement the recommendations of Agenda 21 regarding community participation in sustainable development.

Keywords

Citation

Arunachalam, M. and Lawrence, S. (2010), "Constructing strategies for sustainable development the communitarian way", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 66-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/20408021011059232

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited