Understanding Participant Perspectives: Q-Methodology in National Forest Management

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 361-388, 1999

28 Pages Posted: 5 May 2011

See all articles by Toddi A. Steelman

Toddi A. Steelman

University of Saskatchewan

Lynn A. Maguire

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment

Date Written: November 30, 1998

Abstract

Many policy practitioners and theorists have argued that value-free, objective solutions to policy problems do not exist. While participant values and subjective viewpoints influence policy problems, empirically determining participant perspectives and preferences has been a daunting task. This paper demonstrates how Q-methodology, a technique for systematically revealing subjective perspectives, can contribute to better problem identification and definition, estimation and specification of policy options, and selection, implementation and evaluation of policies. Two case studies in National Forest management are reviewed and demonstrate how Q-methodology can (1) identify important internal and external constituencies; (2) define participant viewpoints and perceptions; (3) provide sharper insight into participant preferred management directions; (4) identify criteria that are important to participants, (5) explicitly outline areas of consensus and conflict; and (6) develop a common view toward the policy.

Keywords: Q-methodology, participant perspectives, national forest management

Suggested Citation

Steelman, Toddi A. and Maguire, Lynn A., Understanding Participant Perspectives: Q-Methodology in National Forest Management (November 30, 1998). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 361-388, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1831405

Toddi A. Steelman (Contact Author)

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

School of Environment and Sustainability
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada

Lynn A. Maguire

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States

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