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Resource development conflict: a quantitative approach

Murray Lytle (National Energy Board, Calgary, Canada)
Michael Hitch (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Annals in Social Responsibility

ISSN: 2056-3515

Article publication date: 17 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose the thesis that how an individual views the world – their worldview – is indicative of their acceptance of resource development. A definition of worldview is given and the significance of worldview to cultural and civilizational development is described. A methodology for testing the hypothesis is described and the results of a survey used to collect data are analyzed. At least for the approximately 300 respondents to the survey, there is a correlation between their responses to a series of worldview questions and their acceptance of resource development. Not surprisingly, the correlation becomes stronger as the homogeneity of the respondent group increases. The results of the survey analysis are then compared to a known resource development conflict in a case study to understand the potential significance of the results in a real-world setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A definition of worldview is given and the significance of worldview to cultural and civilizational development is described and evaluated. A methodology for testing the hypothesis is described and the results of a survey used to collect data are analyzed.

Findings

At least for the 300 respondents to the survey, there is a correlation between their responses to a series of worldview questions and their acceptance of resource development. The case study indicates that respondents can hold contradictory views depending upon the level of inquiry.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is too small to draw any but the most preliminary of conclusions. However, the correlations are high enough to encourage additional work.

Practical implications

The research may point to a relatively simple means of understanding the level of acceptance of resource development among all parties to a development proposal. This will allow proponents to identify issues early enough to address them in the design and negotiation phases of project development.

Social implications

Resource developers and residents local to the proposed development are often talking at cross-purposes because the issues are not understood at a deep enough level. Once issues are understood at the deeper level of worldview opportunities for resolution may be identified.

Originality/value

As far as the researchers are aware this is the only published methodology for quantifying the acceptance of resource development. As identified by the case study, it is possible for a community to reject resource development for reasons that have little to do with resource development either in the particular or in the general.

Keywords

Citation

Lytle, M. and Hitch, M. (2017), "Resource development conflict: a quantitative approach", Annals in Social Responsibility, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 42-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/ASR-12-2016-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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