The institutional dynamics of stability and practice change: the urban water management sector of Australia (1970-2015)

Brodnik, Christoph, Brown, Rebekah, and Cocklin, Chris (2017) The institutional dynamics of stability and practice change: the urban water management sector of Australia (1970-2015). Water Resources Management, 31 (7). pp. 2299-2314.

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Even though traditional urban water management practices have been deemed as unsustainable, lacking resilience and ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of the twenty-first century, they continue to dominate urban water management sectors worldwide. This lock-in is rooted in the institutional building blocks of urban water management sectors which represent higher order principles, such as widely shared rules, norms and values that weave around old and new ways of doing. To reveal the institutional foundations of this lock-in and to demonstrate how opportunities for practice change emerge, this paper explores the institutional dynamic of the urban water management sector in Australia with a novel mixed methods and multiple case study approach. The paper identifies six distinct institutional logics, charts their development from 1970 to 2015 and characterises them in their ideal-typical form. The findings demonstrate that logics evolve and co-evolve continuously over time, gradually changing the way they manifest themselves. It is through these processes that stability and practice change as well as wholesale sectoral institutional transformations can be explained.

Item ID: 50384
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-1650
Keywords: sustainable urban water management, institutional logics, practice change, mixed methods approach
Funders: Cooperative Research Centre Program, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP120102791
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 08:27
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330499 Urban and regional planning not elsewhere classified @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440604 Environmental geography @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960511 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Urban and Industrial Environments @ 20%
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