Environmental Management

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 189–195

Developing a collaborative model for environmental planning and management

  • Steve Selin
  • Deborah Chevez

DOI: 10.1007/BF02471990

Cite this article as:
Selin, S. & Chevez, D. Environmental Management (1995) 19: 189. doi:10.1007/BF02471990


Methods for involving the public in natural resource management are changing as agencies adjust to an increasingly turbulent social and political environment. There is growing interest among managers and scholars in collaborative approaches to public involvement. Collaboration is conceptually defined and elaborated using examples from the natural resource management field. This paper then examines how collaboration theory from the organizational behavior field can help environmental managers to better understand those factors that facilitate and inhibit collaborative solutions to resource problems. A process-oriented model is presented that proposes that collaboration emerges out of an environmental context and then proceeds sequentially through a problem-setting, direction-setting, and structuring phase. Factors constraining collaboration are also specified, including organizational culture and power differentials. Designs for managing collaboration are identified, which include appreciative planning, joint agreements, dialogues, and negotiated settlements. Environmental managers need new skills to manage collaboration within a dynamic social and political environment. Further research is needed to test the propositions outlined here.

Key words

Collaboration Public involvement Natural resources Dispute resolution Partnerships Environmental management Transactive planning Communities of interest 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Selin
    • 1
  • Deborah Chevez
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of ForestryWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Fores Fire LaboratoryUSDA Forest ServiceCaliforniaRiversideUSA

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