Successfully developing local sustainability strategies in municipal administrations. Critical organisational requirements and lessons learnt

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Whilst it is generally approved that having a local sustainability strategy is advantageous for cities and municipalities, so far only little emphasis has been placed on such strategy’s actual development, e.g. what the persons responsible must consider when aiming to make the development process as fruitful as possible. The present study addresses this gap and aims to provide a better understanding of the strategy development process itself as well as identify organizational requirements that facilitate and positively influence the strategy development process in the municipalities. The findings ground on existing literature in the area of change management, participant observations as well as analyses of qualitative interviews. The latter were carried out within a case study with 12 administration members from four German municipalities. The study revealed that the four municipalities’ strategy development process was generally rewarding in terms of having a tailor-made strategy with concrete measures for the coming years but also challenging due to various obstacles such as lacking staff, time or funding. Further, the research found evidence that most of the organizational requirements mentioned in the change management literature also turned out to be crucial criteria involved in the successful development of local sustainability strategies.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen