Leadership in sustainability planning: propagating visions through empathic communication

TitleLeadership in sustainability planning: propagating visions through empathic communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSenbel, M
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Pagination1–19
Abstract

Despite their lack of decision-making power, planners frequently prevail in advancing strong sustainability agendas. A review of leadership and planning literature suggests that they employ collaborative practice. Using an ethnographic methodology that draws from the stories and actions of six planners with sustainability mandates, supplemented with a survey of their staff and colleagues, this research examines how they do it. Findings suggest that despite variety in their organisational contexts, the planners relied on strong visions and on forging and maintaining relationships to set and implement sustainability mandates. The planners deployed participative and collaborative values selectively in support of their mandates.