Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Robin Cooper

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Robert Witheridge

Abstract

Stakeholders’ perceptions of social, environmental, and economic concerns in the Rookery Bay Estuary were examined through this research. The purpose of this study was to discover the shared value and common resolution responses for the people of the Rookery Bay area that can extend to other local environmental management scenarios. Using Stakeholder Theory, Rational Choice Theory, Symbolic Interactionism, and Systems Theory as theoretical foundation, the following research questions were considered: RQ1) What are the points of shared value of community stakeholders facing environmental management issues? RQ2) How do the perspectives of the community stakeholders toward the social, environmental, and economic issues relate to their local environmental decision-making? RQ3) What are the attitudes and behaviors toward water? Participants identified the importance of water and the natural environment on the community. Additionally, participants were aware of the social, economic, and environmental issues and noted tension between stakeholders; however, they have a limited understanding of the concept of shared value. This research illustrates the benefit of weaving concepts from various fields together to strengthen the conflict studies field.The findings and recommendations in this research offer an outline that provides a path from dispute to common value generation that leads through creating shared meanings, a shared understanding, a shared story, to shared value that is stable over time.