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The Role of Collaboration in Realising Local Authority Energy Objectives: An Institutional and Stakeholder Perspective

Adam, Katrina Louise (2018) The Role of Collaboration in Realising Local Authority Energy Objectives: An Institutional and Stakeholder Perspective. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Local authorities are well-placed to make significant contributions towards national emissions reductions commitments, through the pursuit and enablement of energy-related activities. Numerous factors affect the ability of local authorities to realise their energy ambitions, but current research tends be framed from either a socio-political or techno-economic perspective. Collaborative approaches to delivery, for example local authorities working together or with the private sector, are increasingly cited as a means of overcoming identified constraints, but the process of collaboration itself remains under examined. This thesis contributes to the body of literature examining local authority energy activity by focusing on the collaborative process. Using a multiple case study approach, the research develops an integrated analytical framework that draws on institutional and stakeholder theories to explore the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of local authority collaborations. Through the application of the framework to three cases over two research phases it characterises the influences on local authorities and the organisations with whom they collaborate, and considers how specific organisational issues interact within a shared collaborative context. By taking a holistic perspective, new insights into conditions that can create successful and unsuccessful collaborations are identified. Institutional factors create some of the main antecedents to collaboration, while stakeholder and specific organisational issues are more evident at the process stage. The results show that collaboration can play a valuable role in addressing some of the barriers to local authority energy activity. However, while successful local authorities may collaborate, not all collaborations lead to success. The multi-organisational collaborations examined in this thesis were shown to introduce their own pressures, and demonstrated that organisational barriers to independent activity can be perpetuated into a collaboration. While a collaborative approach can be an effective mechanism for delivery of energy activity, when delivered in a competitive market context this research shows that there is the potential for preferential partnerships to develop within a collaboration, arguably favouring those most able to act without the need to collaborate. When collaboration is advocated as a solution, the balance of intentions between mitigating organisational deficiencies and seeking to achieve shared outcomes should be carefully considered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Keywords: local authorities; collaboration; organisations; delivery; institutional theory; stakeholder theory; energy efficiency
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Chemical and Process Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ms KL Adam
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 16:11
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 16:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23029

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