Stakeholder Cooperation in Sustainable Development: Three Case Studies in Norway


  • Torger Gillebo Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Charles Francis Norwegian University of Life Sciences


Experiences from three case studies in rural and commercial development in Norway from 1995-2001 are analyzed and evaluated. The goal of the research community was to contribute to local and regional innovations, and in the process develop a better understanding of the development process. Focus was on solving the realistic challenges met by entrepreneurs in their businesses and by the local community, as well as on working within the unique locationâ€"specific context in each case location. The project revealed that generating new knowledge and at the same time encouraging tangible institutional change is a complex challenge. Conclusions from the three studies are that rural and commercial development are complex and site-specific, and the process requires 1) good communication and collaboration among involved participants, 2) interdisciplinary, case-based research design, and 3) a continuous and learning innovation process. There is a need for ownership and sustained participation from all stakeholders, and much of the initiative and support must come from within the community. Key terms: rural innovation, endogenous development, communicative participation, interdisciplinary projects, participatory research, learning communities.

Author Biographies

Torger Gillebo, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Torger Gillebo: PhD-student of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences Section for Learning and Education Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology P.O.BOX 5003 1432 Aas, Norway

Charles Francis, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Charles Francis: Visiting Professor of Agroecology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway; Professor of Agronomy & Horticulture, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68583-0915, U.S.A.