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Understanding the long-term influence of EIA on organisational learning and transformation

Jones, M. and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2017) Understanding the long-term influence of EIA on organisational learning and transformation. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 64 . pp. 131-138.

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This research is an attempt to verify the notion postulated by Robert Bartlett and Lynton Caldwell that the full benefits of environmental impact assessment (EIA) would take decades to be realized. While EIA is intended to directly influence decision-making regarding new development proposals, the process is also expected to lead to organisational learning and transformation over time. Our aim was to examine the influence of EIA on a single Western Australian proponent with sustained experience in the process to understand how EIA is used within the organisation and to seek evidence of transformation of the organisation's purpose and mission. The research reviewed literature in order to identify key influences of EIA on organisations, along with semi-structured staff interviews and document analysis for the case study organisation. Ascertaining causality that involvement in EIA processes influences or effects organisational learning and transformation is a challenge in the face of other societal events. Document analysis and interviewee data indicates that the action-forcing nature of EIA did influence proponent behavior through the creation of internal processes seeking to ensure robust design of new projects that would satisfy environmental protection expectations, without the need to trigger formal EIA. Evidence of EIA values and thinking were apparent within internal documentation, including the evolving mission statement. Our research indicates that participation in the EIA process can positively influence organisational learning and transformation by guiding internal change for decision-making.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Inc.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
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