2 results for Brown, Ben, Masters

  • Sustainability at the Dunedin City Council

    Brown, Ben (2006-05)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The purpose of this report was to challenge the Dunedin City Council to design policy and strategy that would enhance the long term sustainability of all aspects of the community. Following an initial background exploration of the Council's role in the community, the report examined a wide range of literature on organisational sustainability. It was revealed that while definitions of sustainability were highly varied and somewhat ambiguous, they could typically be categorised into three broad perspectives. Of these perspectives, the one that pertained to sustainability involving the incorporation of social and environmental concerns into the design of organisational strategy appeared to dominate business practice. Further analysis highlighted this that this 'weak' perspective of sustainability was also highly prevalent within the context of New Zealand business strategy and public sector legislation. The findings suggested that while the Council should be commended for the extensive community planning procedures it has in place, their policies and strategies were guided by the same `weak' perspective of sustainability expressed in the Council's external environment. The findings illustrated that this was primarily due to the fact that their approach to such issues was guided primarily by compliance with central government legislation. Importantly however, the research also showed that alternative interpretations of sustainability existed within the Council and as such there was little coherence or agreement as to what the concept meant for the Council. The findings suggested that this lack of coherence prevented any unitary vision for sustainability being established throughout Council policy and strategy which in turn hindered the Council from effectively enhancing all aspects of the community. Ultimately, the report acknowledged that while the Council had a reasonable grasp of sustainability concerns and applied these to a certain extent in the design of policy and strategy, there were several courses of action that could be taken to enhance this. These included: • Establishing programmes of ongoing organisational learning about sustainability • Creating opportunities for dialogue about sustainability • Developing a Local Agenda 21 approach to sustainability • Developing a unified definition of sustainability • Appointing a sustainability manager and working group • Providing a leadership role on sustainability for the community to follow In providing these recommendations the report advocated that their implementation would see the Council ascribe to a boarder understanding of sustainability which would be expressed in policy and strategy that better fulfils their commitments to enhancing the wellbeing of all aspects of the community.

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  • Examining the role of internal agents in creating sustainable organisations

    Brown, Ben (2006-06)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This dissertation seeks to develop a theoretical framework for how concerned individuals within organisations might be able to enhance organisational sustainability. Through initial interaction with the literature of organisational sustainability the dissertation suggests that a range of different interpretations of the concept exist which are typically based upon conflicting philosophical world views. As such, the extent to which the emerging focus on sustainable development is pragmatically realistic is critically evaluated. Based on this discussion the dissertation provides a core meaning of sustainability as representing an agenda of challenging the fundamental assumptions upon which capitalist organisations are based. It is argued that the most effective way that this can occur is through the resisting actions of internal change agents called 'champions for sustainability'. Through an evaluation of the resistance methods available to these agents the dissertation proposes a new kind of change agent called a 'covert champion for sustainability'. It is argued that the covert champion for sustainability can provide a unique form of subtle, everyday resistance that is pragmatically powerful in challenging organisational mores and encouraging sustainability.

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