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A CONTINGENCY FRAMEWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING:

Authors
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

This article explores a contingency framework for environmental decisionmaking. This framework suggests when environmental decision-makers will use certain decision-making processes by arguing that the process used is contingent on the type of environmental problem confronted and the attributes of the decision being made. I examine environmental decision-making from two points. First, in the policy and organizational behavior literatures, a shortage of decision typologies exists. Thus, the article suggests a general typology of decision-making based on dichotomized categories, e.g., short-term versus long-term decisions, decisions made under certainty versus uncertainty, new versus redressed decisions. Second, I suggest a general classification of environmental problems and describe their characteristics. The two typologies are superimposed and predictions made for when certain decision processes will be used. By categorizing decision types and process conditions, one can suggest what processes best suit which decisions and offer suggestions for improving policy outcomes. Copyright 1999 by The Policy Studies Organization.

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