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Environmental Problem-Solving: An Application Of Institutional Theory And Systems Thinking To The Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor

Environmental Problem-Solving: An Application Of Institutional Theory And Systems Thinking To The Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor

Author(s): Andres Jimenez Monge
Published: 2018
Type: M.E.S. Papers/Theses

This research utilizes Soft System Methodologies (SSM) in the application of an institutional theory framework to explore the link between worldviews, institutions, and environmental problem-solving (EPS). Using the institutionally-complex context of the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (ASBC) in Costa Rica, I employ an SSM intervention and a grounded theory inductive approach to investigate how organizations construct multiple problem-solving modes. The work demonstrates the effects of incompatible logics on shared environmental transformation projects that are dependent on the interaction of various agents. Idiosyncratic issues, emergent conditions, pre-existing conditions, aggravating organizational responses and mitigating organizational responses are introduced as theoretical constructs that help explain the evolution of institutional complexity within ASBC, and its impacts on EPS. The findings suggest that institutional complexity has impaired the problem-solving capacity by reducing coordination and polarizing issues. The result is a situation that leads to simplistic EPS that is not aligned with viable and effective solutions to the problems that motivated the creation of the corridor.

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