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Title: Urban governance, leadership and local economic development : a comparative case study of Leeds in England and Johannesburg in South Africa
Author: Msengana-Ndlela, Lindiwe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 3011
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Advocates of local economic development (LED) in cities confront the problem of exclusionary socio-economic outcomes, despite the purported pro-poor objectives of many local authority leaders. Most studies engage with aspects of this problem in a fragmented manner. This study examines exclusionary outcomes systematically by integrating the themes of urban governance, leadership and LED; and by applying Stone’s (1989) urban regime theory (URT) and Heifetz’s (1994) adaptive leadership theory (ALT). The study employs a cross-national comparative case study design, by comparing and contrasting LED approaches in the urban regimes of Leeds in England and Johannesburg in South Africa. It uses primarily a qualitative research strategy, complemented by the interpretation of quantitative data. Empirical evidence was collected during primary research activities undertaken from 2008 to 2011 using document analysis, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and non-participant observations. Thematic analysis was applied to the data and the NVivo software package was used to verify the analysis of interview data. The thesis argues that governance processes in pro-growth urban regimes are neither sufficiently networked nor adaptive enough to achieve pro-poor LED outcomes. These failures can be explained in part by the power of private business interests and structural barriers that tend to perpetuate income inequality and unemployment, undermining both equitable regime governance and adaptivity towards pro-poor objectives. Drawing from the perspectives of URT and ALT, the thesis highlights four inter-related factors which are central to a better understanding of LED approaches and leadership processes in urban regimes: (i) context, (ii) capacity, (iii) consequences, and (iv) collaboration dynamics and power. It concludes by identifying lessons for theory and policy practice, together with proposals on how determined leaders could begin to confront the intractable challenges of socio-economic exclusion in cities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions ; JS Local government Municipal government