Unpacking a wicked problem: enablers/impediments to regional engagement

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Christie, MJ, Rowe, PA & Pickernell, DG 2009, 'Unpacking a wicked problem: enablers/impediments to regional engagement', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 83-96.

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A case study approach is applied to review Local Government Authorities (LGA) regional engagement in the Australian context. We address the question 'What are the key LGA enablers/impediments to regional engagement?' by applying Leydesdorff's (2000) proposition that triple helix type network systems exhibit patterns of complex behaviour if the interaction factors that trigger enablers are reflexively declared. The three strands of the LGA triple helix network system are institutions, industry and government. In this case study the LGA's overall management of its regional stakeholder relationships resulted in impediments that limit strong regional engagement. Importantly, the findings inform practitioners, policy-makers and research audiences of the nature of impediments and, by inference, the nature of enablers in LGA triple helix network systems.

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