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Environmental Management Systems in Local Public Authorities

A Comparative Study of the Introduction and Implementation of EMAS in the United Kingdom and Germany


Martin Jungwirth

This study analyses the introduction and implementation processes of the European environmental management standard EMAS in modern local public administrations in the UK and Germany. Based on the different political and institutional settings, a qualitative analysis reveals the effects of the policy instrument. The study comes to the conclusion that the organizational processes are mostly dependent on the dominant actors within each organization. The orientation towards New Public Management can be beneficial for organizations working with EMAS while others can use it to start a modernization process. On a national level, EMAS is a classical case of an innovative, voluntary and flexible policy instrument with an imperfect national implementation that has dramatic effects on its use.


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4 Theoretical Concept 97


4 Theoretical Concept 4.1 Introduction There is no genuine theory to analyse the implementation of EMAS within public administration. Therefore, after the definition of the central relevant terms for this chapter, three different theoretical approaches are elaborated. The first is the public administration theory, with the classical Weberian Model of administration on the one hand and the management and resource- orientated idea of operating public administration under New Public Manage- ment on the other hand. The second approach is the policy cycle model, which is used to analyse the introduction and implementation of EMAS as a cross-sectoral policy instrument. Third, the elements of change, learning and continuous improvements which EMAS contains are taken into account with an organisational learning approach. Finally, these three elements will form a theoretical concept which, in the end, will work as the background for both the method and the analysis chapters. 4.2 Organisation – definition of a central term EMAS, in the sense of the policy instrument, is an environmental manage- ment tool that helps organisations to analyse and decrease their environmental impacts. It is merely an intra-organisational management system like the quality-focused ISO 9001 or its international EMS rival ISO 14001. There- fore, the definition of the term ‘organisation’ is central to the argumentation in this work.46 Within classical sociological theory, the term ‘organisation’ comprises three different categories. First, an organisation can be seen as a social process, i.e. 46 From an etymological point of view, the term ‘organisation’ derives both from the new Latin...

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