Experimenting with methodological advancements to the transition management framework: a case study on city-regional housing and future wellbeing

Stabler, Lauren (2020) Experimenting with methodological advancements to the transition management framework: a case study on city-regional housing and future wellbeing. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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In the field of Transitions Research, the governance and analytical framework, Transition Management (TM), has received wide criticism for its top-down, technocratic nature and overreliance on the evolutionary function of variation and selection. The original aim of my research project was to offer methodological advancements to the TM framework that address these criticisms, and to investigate their impacts in an experimental, action research project. To investigate their impacts, I conducted a deductive, qualitative analysis of pre- and post-participation survey data and an inductive, qualitative analysis of observation notes and audio recordings from multi-stakeholder workshops. Having confronted several barriers throughout the project, the scope of my research project evolved. Several of these barriers are cited in the literature on applied TM (e.g. lack of political buy-in and resource constraints), but others, to my knowledge, have not been reported (e.g. recruitment challenges resulting in lower representation). These barriers make up my first set of findings, resulting in a number of recommendations for TM scholars attempting to close the gap between theory and practice. The second set of findings relates to my proposed methodological adaptations. Given the preliminary nature of these findings, recommendations are made for their further investigation. Finally, I found that participants, particularly commercial actors, are unlikely to invest in an iterative process of ‘learning-by-doing’ and ‘doing-by-learning’. Moreover, if the short-term costs of intervention outweigh the short-term benefits, then partners will abandon multi-stakeholder initiatives, regardless of the long-term benefits. This third, and final, set of findings suggests that the transformative capacity of TM, which relies on stakeholders to co-govern sustainability transitions through voluntary partnerships, is significantly limited in practice. My findings have led me to echo conclusions that the absence of power and politics in TM’s theoretical foundations has produced significant blind spots in its conceptualisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Accessibility note: If you require a more accessible version of this thesis, please contact us at arro@aru.ac.uk
Keywords: Transition Management, Socio-technical transitions, Governance for sustainability, Participatory systems modelling, Housing, Future wellbeing
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 15:27
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706997

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