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A Systems Thinking Approach to Environmental Follow-Up in a Swedish Central Public Authority: Hindrances and Possibilities for Learning from Experience
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2011 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, E-ISSN 1432-1009, Vol. 48, no 1, 123-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analysed the environmental follow-up of a public organisation from a systems thinking approach, including follow-up within different phases of operation and with different environmental management tools. The Swedish Rail Administration (SRA), a public authority responsible for Swedish rail infrastructure, was used as a case organisation. The main aim was to identify different follow-up activities during planning, construction and operation of rail infrastructure. Additional aims were to identify limiting factors for effective environmental follow-up and to provide suggestions on how SRA follow-up can better be used as an organisational learning tool. The follow-up proved to be highly influenced by Environmental Management System and was mainly used for showing compliance with legal regulations or contract requirements. Use of environmental monitoring data was limited to the specific project in which the follow-up was carried out, possibly because of the project-based structure of the organisation following rail deregulation. Theory on organisational learning was applied in the study to discuss how to improve the distribution and use of follow-up data. A more complete 'organisational memory' seems to be required for learning from experience and adapting to change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 48, no 1, 123-133 p.
Keyword [en]
Environmental management system (EMS), Environmental impact assessment (EIA), Strategic environmental assessment (SEA), Organisational learning, EIA follow-up, Environmental management plan (EMP)
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-36250DOI: 10.1007/s00267-010-9600-5ISI: 000291748500011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79959372620OAI: diva2:430498
QC 20110711Available from: 2011-07-11 Created: 2011-07-11 Last updated: 2011-07-11Bibliographically approved

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