A critical investigation of the organizational factors affecting the development of local agenda 21 by a local authority
This thesis uses action research to investigate the organizational factors which are affecting the implementation of local agenda 21, and the accompanying necessary internal changes, in a local authority. Following an examination of literature relating to sustainable development and local agenda 21, organizational culture and attempts to change it are identified as the important areas to be investigated. There is an examination of theory in those areas and a two-stage study is carried out. This allows for the first stage study to be assessed and any gaps, where the research questions are not being answered, to be identified and dealt with in the second stage study. It was found that in local authorities there are sub-cultures, and that the split is along departmental lines, which affect the facilitation of sustainable development to differing degrees. Socially based departments had sub-cultures which were less appropriate for sustainable development then environmentally based ones. The local authorities were making changes of a structural and strategic nature, but as regards human processes, it was found that although authorities were concentrating on trying to raise awareness, the strategies they were using for this were ineffective. Two case studies were also conducted, one of a local authority similar in many ways to the one in the main study and the other of a dissimilar one, to assess whether the findings from the main study might be more generally applicable. The findings from these case studies suggested that the findings were generally applicable.