Stakeholder Cooperation in Sustainable Development: Three Case Studies in Norway
AbstractExperiences 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.