Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


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Follow the Leader

Natural resource economics and the role of leadership in collective action

Laufzeit: 2012 - 2015

Mitarbeiter: Insa Theesfeld, Ulrich Frey

Keywords: power concepts / leadership / collective action / large-N data

It is well-known that leadership is crucial in the initiation of collective action. Collective action, in turn, can be an important route to successful and sustainable management of natural resources. The specific roles of leadership, however, have not been studied extensively. In particular, the way leadership can facilitate the early phase of collaboration, and the problems created by lack of a leader to deal with the many diverse players involved in later stages of collaboration, deserve further work. We examine these issues and added a quantitative dimension. There is a huge amount of qualitative case studies on determinants for successful natural resource management. We plan to add to these insights from the equally large quantitative data set on natural resource management.

In particular we propose to:

  • Study the impact of leadership on collective action that results in natural resource management success on both an ecological and social level
  • Elaborate criteria and indicators that determine the factor of leadership, by extracting variables and making new combination of variables from existing databases
  • Conceptualize and elaborate on the notion of "bad" leadership and the effect it has on collective action efforts

This project is conducted by Prof. Insa Theesfeld in collaboration with Dr. Ulrich Frey.

The data sets used are based on a BMBF-project (2010-2013), where a     quantitative model of success factors for natural resource     management through the use of neural networks has been     built. These factors are highly relevant for, e.g., the operations of     commons-groups, providing accurate prognoses of and practical advice     for their future success. For more information please consult:   

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