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Relational Rewards and Communicative Planning: Understanding Actor Motivation
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8170-3100
2009 (English)In: Planning Theory, ISSN 1473-0952, E-ISSN 1741-3052, Vol. 8, no 3, 263-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article uses a collective action approach to analyse the risk of social dilemmas in communicative planning processes. If actors are self-interested and lack a predisposition to co-operation and communication, they may choose to free ride or under-contribute to the non-excludable outputs of voluntary communicative planning processes that lack reprisals for defection or under-contribution. To motivate their participation, actors must expect some exclusive additional reward. This analysis leads to a suggestion that communicative planning may create social capital networks that offer valuable relational rewards, in varying amounts, to some or all interdependent stakeholders. The value of relational rewards is their potential to reduce transaction costs in future collective actions. The expectation of relational rewards may be a selective incentive powerful enough to counteract the social dilemmas inherent in communicative planning processes in pursuit of normative goals such as inclusiveness and diversity. However, the existence of relational rewards may facilitate strategic action as much as communicative action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 8, no 3, 263-281 p.
Keyword [en]
collective action, communicative planning, co-operation, institutions, motivation
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8263DOI: 10.1177/1473095209104826ISI: 000278598800003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-70449495268OAI: diva2:13538

QC 20150724. Uppdaterad från submitted till published (20100927)

Available from: 2008-04-24 Created: 2008-04-24 Last updated: 2015-07-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Planning Metropolitan Regions: Institutional Perspectives and the Case for Space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planning Metropolitan Regions: Institutional Perspectives and the Case for Space
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aspires to advance understanding of how actor choices relate to embedded structures of rules in communicative planning practice, using insights from the institutional literature developed in organizational science, economics, sociology and planning. Specifically, the thesis argues that a spatial institutional perspective can help planners understand the complex patterns of interaction among actors, and between actors and rules. Actors interact in the spaces created by the interplay between actor choices and rule structures: the institutional environment.

The thesis comprises five papers: two case studies, a literature review and a theoretical paper. A review of the institutional literature reveals insights from other disciplines not yet fully explored in planning, including transaction cost analysis to explain individual decisions and collective action approaches to understanding micro behaviour and macro outcomes. These insights, together with the results of the case studies, suggest that planning theory needs to better understand how individual actors make choices within rule structures and based on the expected behaviour of others.

To address this, the thesis offers the concept of relational rewards, which incorporates theories of social capital and communication externalities into a rational actor approach. This may provide an explanation for why self-interested actors make choices about whether or not to participate in interactive forums designed to meet communicative goals. This approach can also explain how boundedly rational actors without communicative norms may over time develop a propensity to collaborate.

In a practical sense, this thesis challenges planners to think about what selective incentives they offer actors to participate in communicative planning. It encourages planners to identify and characterize the many institutional environments for planning and decisionmaking in transaction cost terms. Planning theorists and practitioners are experienced and adept in understanding and applying a spatial perspective, and can develop a spatial-institutional approach to coordinating actors both across physical space and within institutional environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. 28 p.
TRITA/KTH/CEFIN-DT, ISSN 1654-9376 ; 2008:01
institutions, communicative planning, collective action, metropolitan development planning, transaction cost
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4707 (URN)978-91-976270-0-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-05-09, L1, L-huset, Drottning kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 10:00

QC 20100927

Available from: 2008-04-24 Created: 2008-04-24 Last updated: 2013-11-11Bibliographically approved

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