Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Leadership styles in two Ghanaian hospitals in a challenging environment
    Aberese-Ako, Matilda ; Agyepong, Irene Akua ; DIjk, Han van - \ 2018
    Health Policy and Planning 33 (2018). - ISSN 0268-1080 - p. ii16 - ii26.
    capacity - Context - frontline health worker - Ghana - hospital managers - leadership - low- and middle-income country - management - motivation

    Hospital managers' power to exercise effective leadership in daily management can affect quality of care directly as well as through effects on frontline workers' motivation. This paper explores the influence of contextual factors on hospital managers' leadership styles and the motivation of frontline workers providing maternal and new born care in two public district hospitals in Ghana. It draws on data from an ethnographic study that involved participant observation, conversations and in-depth interviews conducted over 20 months, with frontline health workers and managers. Qualitative analysis software Nvivo 11 was used to facilitate coding, and common patterns emerging from the codes were grouped into themes. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee. Contextual factors such as institutional rules and regulations and funding constrained managers' power, and influenced leadership styles and responses to expressed and observed needs of frontline workers and clients. The contextual constraints on mangers' responses were a source of demotivation to both managers and frontline workers, as it hampered quality health service provision. Knowing what to do, but sometimes constrained by context, managers described 'feeling sick' and frustrated. On the other hand in the instances where managers' were able to get round the constraints and respond effectively to frontline health workers and clients' needs, they felt encouraged and motivated to work harder. Effective district hospital management and leadership is influenced by contextual factors; and not just individual manager's knowledge and skills. Interventions to strengthen management and leadership of public sector hospitals in low- and middle-income countries like Ghana need to consider context and not just individual managers' skills and knowledge strengthening.

    The role of leadership in regional climate change adaptation : A comparison of adaptation practices initiated by governmental and non-governmental actors
    Meijerink, Sander ; Stiller, Sabina ; Keskitalo, E.C.H. ; Scholten, Peter ; Smits, Robert ; Lamoen, Frank van - \ 2015
    Journal of Water and Climate Change 6 (2015)1. - ISSN 2040-2244 - p. 25 - 37.
    Adaptation to climate change - Complexity theory - Leadership - Multi-level governance - Water governance - climate adaptation - governance - regional planning - international comparisons - water management - provinces - municipalities - netherlands - germany - uk - klimaatadaptatie - leiderschap - governance - regionale planning - internationale vergelijkingen - waterbeheer - provincies - gemeenten - nederland - duitsland - verenigd koninkrijk

    This paper aims to better understand the role of leadership in regional climate change adaptation. We first present a framework, which distinguishes five functions of leadership within inter-organizational networks: the connective, enabling, adaptive, political–administrative and dissemination functions. Next, we compare the role of leadership in two examples of regional adaptation practices which were initiated by governmental actors with two examples which were initiated by non-governmental actors. The case studies are located in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Our research question is twofold: to what extent can the five functions of leadership be identified in practices of climate change adaptation, and are there differences in the patterns of leadership between adaptation practices which are initiated by governmental and by non-governmental actors? The study shows that although all leadership functions were fulfilled in all four cases, patterns of leadership were different and the fulfilment of leadership functions posed different challenges to non-governmental actors and governmental actors.

    Contesting control : land and forest in the struggle for Loita Maasai self-government in Kenya
    Kronenburg García, A.J.N. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk, co-promotor(en): S.W.J. Luning. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572720 - 311
    landgebruik - autonomie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - grondrechten - bosbezit - bosbeheer - governance - leiderschap - pachtstelsel - regering - staat - interventie - kenya - land use - autonomy - rural communities - land rights - forest ownership - forest administration - governance - leadership - tenure systems - government - state - intervention - kenya


    Contesting Control: Land and Forest in the Struggle for Loita Maasai Self-government in Kenya

    Angela Kronenburg García

    Contesting Control is about the Loita Maasai in Kenya who, faced with increasing outside interventions and pressure from neighbouring communities, the state and other agencies, have been struggling to maintain access and control over the land they inhabit and the forest they use. They have been on the losing side in territorial struggles with neighbouring Purko Maasai and (non-Maasai) Sonjo. However, with regard to the state, NGOs and environmental organizations, the Loita have successfully navigated policies and projects and retained access and control of their land and forest. Interventions have, nevertheless, changed the way people engage with the land and forest and with each other on these issues. This study investigates the (in)direct effects of interventions and how they have articulated with existing relations, practices, processes and struggles in Loita. It considers the state-led land adjudication programme of the 1960s that sought to convert Kenya’s pastoral lands into privately owned group ranches, the attempt by Narok County Council to turn the Naimina Enkiyio Forest into a nature reserve for tourism in the 1990s, and a forest co-management project carried out by IUCN in the early 2000s. This volume captures the process of property-in-the-making and socio-political change among the Loita Maasai as they struggle for autonomy and self-government.

    The Learning Rural Area Framework: A Heuristic Tool to Investigate Institutional Arrangements which Support Collaboration in Rural Areas
    Wellbrock, W. ; Roep, D. - \ 2015
    Sociologia Ruralis 55 (2015)1. - ISSN 0038-0199 - p. 106 - 124.
    regional innovation - space - knowledge - policy - place - participation - governance - leadership - sociology - geography
    Place-based approaches to rural development require the collaboration of public and private actors. Such collaboration may be stimulated through joint learning and innovation processes which are supported by various institutional arrangements. There is, however, reason to question the effectiveness of existing institutional arrangements. The learning rural area framework is introduced as a tool to map, analyse and evaluate the operational features of (institutional) arrangements supporting joint learning and innovation in rural areas. Its application is discussed with reference to the Westerkwartier in the Netherlands and other rural areas. It will be shown how the framework can serve as an interactive tool to enhance joint reflexivity, facilitate wider collaboration and help build collective agency. Its potential as a tool for designing and implementing more effective institutional arrangements, catalysing institutional reform and bringing about more collaborative modes of governance should be further explored.
    Climate-proof planning for flood-prone areas: assessing the adaptive capacity of planning institutions in the Netherlands
    Brink, M.A. van den; Meijerink, S. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Gupta, J. - \ 2014
    Regional Environmental Change 14 (2014)3. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 981 - 995.
    klimaatverandering - regionale planning - klimaatadaptatie - methodologie - zuid-holland - climatic change - regional planning - climate adaptation - methodology - zuid-holland - water management - adaptation - vulnerability - leadership - assessments - resources
    It is generally acknowledged that adapting lowlying, flood-prone deltas to the projected impacts of climate change is of great importance. Deltas are densely populated and often subject to high risk. Climate-proof planning is, however, not only a new but also a highly complex task that poses problems for existing institutional and administrative structures, which are the product of times in which climate issues were of little importance. This paper assesses the capacity of the historically grown Dutch planning institutions to promote climate-proof planning for flood-prone areas. The Adaptive Capacity Wheel provides the methodological framework. The analysis focuses on two planning projects in the west of the Netherlands: the Zuidplas Polder project at the regional level and the Westergouwe project at the local level. It is shown that the planning institutions involved in these projects enable climate-proof planning, but to a limited extent. They face five institutional weaknesses that may cause risks on the long term. To climate-proof urban developments in flood-prone areas, it is necessary to break through the strong path–dependent development of planning institutions and to build in more flexibility in existing rules and procedures.
    The interaction of multiple champions in orchestrating innovation networks: Conflicts and complementarities
    Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Aarts, N. - \ 2013
    Technovation 33 (2013)6-7. - ISSN 0166-4972 - p. 193 - 210.
    structural holes - intermediaries - management - knowledge - industry - brokers - infrastructure - communities - orientation - leadership
    In networked or open innovation processes, so-called innovation communities have been identified in the innovation champion literature, in which innovation champions from different levels in the innovation system supposedly act as a team. It has however not been studied in detail to what extent and how different champions in innovation communities complement each other and act as a team. Applying the concept of innovation network orchestration to analyze the role and position of different kinds of champions as brokers in innovation networks, the purpose of this paper is to unravel the interaction between champions and what this entails in terms of role complementarities and conflicts as regards innovation network orchestration. This is done by using an explorative multiple case study approach in which three innovation journeys are analyzed. The results indicate that a distinction can be made between primary innovation communities, who act as aggregated orchestrators of the overall innovation network, and who in turn orchestrate secondary innovation communities in certain sub-networks. Here different kinds of champions complement each other and act as a team, but these complementarities are not a given: they are negotiated over time in interaction, and lack of reflection on each other’s roles may result in role conflicts. The main conclusion is that an oversimplified notion of innovation communities as a unified team of champions should be avoided: innovation communities themselves need a form of orchestration.
    Exploring co-investments in sustainable land management in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
    Adimassu Teferi, Z. ; Kessler, A. ; Stroosnijder, L. - \ 2013
    International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 20 (2013)1. - ISSN 1350-4509 - p. 32 - 44.
    soil conservation - leadership - policy - accountability - challenges - payments - services - view
    In Ethiopia, not only farmers but also the public and private sector partners are still hesitant to invest in sustainable land management (SLM). This study focuses on the Central Rift Valley and explores the potential for co-investments in SLM, where public and private sector partners support farmers with material, capital, knowledge, etc. A survey revealed current bottlenecks for co-investments and requirements needed to collaboratively invest in SLM. It covered 165 public sector partners (micro-, meso- and macro-level institutions) and 42 private sector partners (banks, exporters and local traders). Results for the public sector show a gap between macro- and micro-/meso-level actors concerning co-investments in SLM. Macro-level institutions do not acknowledge the bottlenecks identified by micro- and meso-level institutions (e.g. lack of accountability, top-down approaches and lack of good leadership). Similarly, opinions on requirements for co-investments in SLM differ considerably, showing that bridging the institutional micro–macro gap is crucial to co-investments. Most factors are related to the wider governance context and to different perceptions among micro- and macro-level actors as to the critical pre-conditions to co-investment in SLM. Improving governance at all institutional levels, capacity building and enhancing a common understanding on barriers to SLM is required. Results for the private sector reveal that economic bottlenecks limit possibilities to co-invest in SLM, and that enabling policies in the public sphere are required to trigger private investments. Hence, the potential for co-investments in SLM is available in Ethiopia at micro- and meso-level and within the private sector, but profound commitment and fundamental policy changes at the macro-level are required to exploit this potential.
    Leadership and Change in Sustainable Regional Development
    Sotarauta, M. ; Horlings, L.G. ; Liddle, J. - \ 2012
    London/New York : Routledge (Regions and cities 60) - ISBN 9780415678940 - 289
    leiderschap - verandering - duurzame ontwikkeling - regionale ontwikkeling - instellingen - leadership - change - sustainable development - regional development - institutions
    This book shows, first of all, that leadership plays a crucial role in reinventing regions and branching out from an old path to something new in order to create more balanced and sustainable regional development. Second, it maintains that leadership is not a solo but a multi-agent and -level activity and that it needs to be discussed and studied as such. Third, as the book argues, leadership is shaped differently in various institutional and cultural contexts and on different scales. This book explores the ways leadership plays our in regional development context contributing to economically, socially and ecologically balanced sustainable future.
    Exploring dimensions, scales, and cross-scale dynamics from the perspectives of change agents in social-ecological systems
    Vervoort, J.M. ; Rutting, L. ; Kok, K. ; Hermans, F.L.P. ; Veldkamp, A. ; Bregt, A.K. ; Lammeren, R.J.A. van - \ 2012
    Ecology and Society 17 (2012)4. - ISSN 1708-3087
    governance - innovation - management - multilevel - technologies - environment - resilience - mismatches - leadership - knowledge
    Issues of scale play a crucial role in the governance of social–ecological systems. Yet, attempts to bridge interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of scale have thus far largely been limited to the science arena. This study has extended the scale vocabulary to allow for the inclusion of practice-based perspectives on scale. We introduced “dimensions,” used to describe the bare aspects of phenomena, such as time, space, and power, structured by scales and levels. We argued that this extension allows for a clearer understanding of the diversity of dimensions and scales that can be used to explore social–ecological systems. We used this scale vocabulary in a practical case study to elicit perspectives on dimensions, scales, and cross-dimensional dynamics from change agents in Dutch social–ecological systems. Through a visual interview method based in the extended scale vocabulary, our participants identified a large diversity of dimensions they saw as instrumental to understanding insights and lessons about effecting systems change. These dimensions were framed by a large number of scales to describe cross-dimensional interactions. The results illustrate the value of practice-based perspectives for the development of scale theory. We also argue that the introduction of dimensions in the scale vocabulary is useful for clarifying scale theory aimed at linking different disciplines and sectors, and that the framework and methods based on it can also provide clarity for practical scale challenges.
    Boldness affects foraging decisions in barnacle geese: an experimental approach
    Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Nolet, B.A. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Ydenberg, R.C. ; Oers, K. van - \ 2012
    Behavioral Ecology 23 (2012)6. - ISSN 1045-2249 - p. 1155 - 1161.
    social-context - body-size - herbivorous anatidae - branta-leucopsis - anser-indicus - zebra finches - goose flocks - personality - leadership - behavior
    Individuals foraging in groups constantly need to make decisions, such as when to leave a group, when to join a group, and when to move collectively to another feeding site. In recent years, it has become evident that personality may affect these foraging decisions, but studies where individuals are experimentally forced into different roles are still absent. Here, we forced individual barnacle geese, Branta leucopsis, differing in boldness scores, either in a joining or in a leaving role in a feeding context. We placed a food patch at the far end of a test arena and measured the arrival latency and number of visits of individuals to the patch either in the presence of a companion that was confined near the food patch (“joining context”) or in the presence of a companion that was confined away from the food patch (“leaving context”). We also ran trials without a companion (“nonsocial context”). Bolder individuals arrived more quickly than shyer individuals in the “leaving” context, but there was no effect of boldness in the “joining” context, suggesting that boldness differences are important in explaining variation in leaving behavior but not in joining behavior. The difference in arrival latency between the “joining” and non-social context increased with decreasing boldness score, suggesting that shyer individuals are more responsive to the presence of other individuals (i.e., social facilitation). These results indicate that individual differences in boldness play a role in patch choice decisions of group-living animals, such as when to leave a flock and when to join others at a patch.
    Multicultural student group work in higher education: a study on challenges as perceived by students
    Popov, V. ; Brinkman, B. ; Biemans, H.J.A. ; Mulder, M. ; Kuznetsov, A.M. ; Noroozi, O. - \ 2012
    International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36 (2012)2. - ISSN 0147-1767 - p. 302 - 317.
    learning teams - cultural-diversity - racial diversity - task groups - performance - collectivism - individualism - management - leadership - impact
    This paper aims to examine challenges that are inherent in multicultural student group work (MCSG) in higher education and the differences between students from different cultural backgrounds in how they perceive the importance of challenges in MCSG. For this purpose, a 19-item survey was completed by students (N = 141) of the 9-EC (European Credits) Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) course of Wageningen University, a university in the Netherlands in the domain of life sciences with a student population consisting of over 30% foreign students from over 100 different countries. Students were required to rate on a Likert scale (from 1 to 5) the importance of a certain challenge in MCSG. Challenges for students in MCSG were analyzed using scales that centered on cross-cutting challenges and culture-related challenges in multicultural group work identified in exploratory factor analysis. To examine the extent to which culturally diverse students differed with respect to their perceptions of the importance of the challenges, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted based on Hofstede's individualist–collectivist cultural dimension. Free-riding, insufficient English language skills and students not communicating properly were perceived by all participants of this explorative case study to be the most important challenges in MCSG. The results suggest that students’ cultural background (the individualist–collectivist dimension) affects their perceptions of the importance of challenges in MCSG. Explanations for these results and recommendations for future research are provided. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Institutions for adaptation to climate change: comparing national adaptation strategies in Europe
    Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Biesbroek, G.R. ; Brink, M.A. van den - \ 2012
    European Political Science 11 (2012)1. - ISSN 1680-4333 - p. 41 - 53.
    klimaatverandering - broeikasgassen - milieubeleid - internationale vergelijkingen - finland - verenigd koninkrijk - zweden - nederland - climatic change - greenhouse gases - environmental policy - international comparisons - finland - uk - sweden - netherlands - leadership - governance - management - resources
    In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, societies worldwide have to cope with the potential impacts of climate change. The central question of this paper is to what extent our historically grown institutions enable actors to cope with the new challenges of climate adaptation. We present six qualities of governance institutions that are crucial to allow for, and encourage adaptation, and apply them to the National Adaptation Strategies of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. We conclude that although the governance institutions involved seem to have the basic qualities required, they face five institutional weaknesses, causing tensions on the long term: (1) lack of openness towards learning and variety; (2) strong one-sided reliance on scientific experts; (3) tension between top-down policy development and bottom-up implementation; (4) distrust in the problem-solving capacity of civil society; and (5) wickedness of reserving funding for long-term action.
    Are Dutch water safety Institutions prepared for climate change?
    Brink, M.A. van den; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Meijerink, S. - \ 2011
    Journal of Water and Climate Change 2 (2011)4. - ISSN 2040-2244 - p. 272 - 287.
    waterbeleid - hoogwaterbeheersing - veiligheid - klimaatadaptatie - water policy - flood control - safety - climate adaptation - management - perspective - adaptation - governance - resources - leadership
    For the water sector, adapting to the effects of climate change is a highly complex issue. Due to its geographical position, The Netherlands is vulnerable to sea level rise, increasing river discharges and increasing salt intrusion. Th is paper deals with the question of to what extent the historically developed Dutch water safety institutions have the capacity to cope with the ‘new’ challenges of climate change. The Adaptive Capacity Wheel provides the methodological framework. The analysis focuses on three recent and major planning practices in the Dutch water safety domain: the development and implementation of the Room for the River project, the introduction of the flood risk approach and the introduction of the Second Delta Plan. The results show that Dutch water safety institutions enable climate change adaptation, but to a limited extent. They face five institutional weaknesses that may cause risks in particular in the long term. The paper concludes that for The Netherlands to be prepared for climate change, it is necessary to build capacity to improvise, to invest in and create room for collaborative leaders, and to find ways to generate financial resources for long-term innovative measures. Key words: adaptive capacity, climate adaptation, institutions, the Netherlands, water safety
    Ideational Leadership in German Welfare State Reform. How Politicians and Policy Ideas Transform Resilient Institutions
    Stiller, S.J. - \ 2010
    Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press (Changing Welfare States ) - ISBN 9789089641861 - 255
    welvaartsstaat - sociaal welzijn - gezinnen - sociaal beleid - leiderschap - overheidsbeleid - duitsland - weerstand tegen verandering - sociale verandering - welfare state - social welfare - families - social policy - leadership - government policy - germany - resistance to change - social change
    editors of the series Gøsta Esping-Andersen, University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain Anton Hemerijck, the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid - wrr) Kees van Kersbergen, Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands Kimberly Morgan, George Washington University, Washington, USA Romke van der Veen, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands Jelle Visser, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    The adaptive capacity wheel: a method to assess the inherent characteristics of institutions to enable the adaptive capacity of society
    Gupta, J. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Klostermann, J.E.M. ; Meijerink, S. ; Brink, M.A. van den; Jong, P. ; Nooteboom, S.G. ; Bergsma, E.J. - \ 2010
    Environmental Science & Policy 13 (2010)6. - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 459 - 471.
    klimaatverandering - klimaatadaptatie - landgebruik - governance - methodologie - climatic change - climate adaptation - land use - governance - methodology - social-ecological systems - climate-change - environmental-change - adaptation - vulnerability - resilience - policy - management - leadership
    Climate change potentially brings continuous and unpredictable changes in weather patterns. Consequently, it calls for institutions that promote the adaptive capacity of society and allow society to modify its institutions at a rate commensurate with the rate of environmental change. Institutions, traditionally conservative and reactive, will now have to support social actors to proactively respond through planned processes and deliberate steps, but also through cherishing and encouraging spontaneous and autonomous change, as well as allowing for institutional redesign. This paper addresses the question: How can the inherent characteristics of institutions to stimulate the capacity of society to adapt to climate change from local through to national level be assessed? On the basis of a literature review and several brainstorm sessions, this paper presents six dimensions: Variety, learning capacity, room for autonomous change, leadership, availability of resources and fair governance. These dimensions and their 22 criteria form the Adaptive Capacity Wheel. This wheel can help academics and social actors to assess if institutions stimulate the adaptive capacity of society to respond to climate change; and to focus on whether and how institutions need to be redesigned. This paper also briefly demonstrates the application of this Adaptive Capacity Wheel to different institutions
    In fear of abandonment : slum life, community leaders and politics in Recife, Brazil
    Koster, M. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Th. Blom Hansen, co-promotor(en): Monique Nuijten; Pieter de Vries. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085852971 - 356
    sociologie - sociale antropologie - steden - stedelijke gebieden - armoede - economisch achtergestelden - buurten - sociale structuur - stedelijke samenleving - stedelijke bevolking - gemeenschappen - leiderschap - politiek - stadsontwikkeling - brazilië - latijns-amerika - sociology - social anthropology - towns - urban areas - poverty - economically disadvantaged - neighbourhoods - social structure - urban society - urban population - communities - leadership - politics - urban development - brazil - latin america
    This book sets out to contribute to the pursuit of ‘making nonpersons full human beings’
    (Boff & Boff:1987:8). It provides insights in the lives of residents of the slum of “Chão de
    Estrelas” in Recife, Brazil. I argue that slum dwellers should not be mystified and
    misrecognised as “the other”, as different from “normal” citizens, because of their
    marginalised position. I show that the slum is, in fact, an eminently knowable world.
    This book presents how slum dwellers, directed by local lideres comunitarios, community
    leaders, strive for material and intangible resources and engage in utopian projects. I
    argue that the needs and aspirations of these people, who are at constant risk of being
    ignored, disconnected, and abandoned, emerge from their yearnings for recognition and
    connectivity, and a fear of abandonment. To understand this life in the slum, I focus on
    the ways slum dwellers attempt to realise their needs and aspirations, modes of
    operating which I call “slum politics”.
    Chapter 1 defines slum politics as grounded in the needs and aspirations of those
    who live in the margins. Drawing on the work of Oscar Lewis (1959, 1965), it analyses
    how life in the slum, through stigmatisation and a long history of marginalisation, is
    reproduced in ways that are fundamentally different from middle- and upper-class
    people. This difference, expressed in particular needs and aspirations, is not generated
    because slum dwellers are a different kind of people, but because have they been
    structurally segregated in the dominant political and economic order. This chapter
    documents how these particular needs and aspirations, although not solely held by
    slum dwellers, are more emphatically and urgently present in their lives in the margins
    of the political and economic order, and have material, intangible and utopian
    dimensions. Material needs exist, for instance, for money, food, and employment.
    Intangible, or social, needs can be viewed in attempts to establish connections to all
    kinds of people and to gain prestige. Utopian aspirations find their expression in slum
    dwellers’ cravings for solidarity, a better environment, and a desire to be connected to
    the world instead of being ignored by it.
    This chapter coins the concept of slum politics as the ongoing and never finished
    endeavour of slum dwellers of creating connections and possibilities which break off all
    the time. Slum politics, driven by attempts to be connected to the political and economic
    order, centres on the notion of connectivity, the intricate face-to-face relations between
    persons which need to be constantly maintained, and a fear abandonment, which means
    being forsaken and excluded by everybody. It includes practices in the realms of family
    life, making a living, and dreaming about the future.
    Chapter 2 provides a portrait of community leadership. It shows how community
    leaders are the main facilitators of slum politics, as they articulate and consolidate needs
    and aspirations of their fellow slum dwellers, which they, being slum dwellers
    themselves, know well. Community leaders distinguish themselves from other slum
    dwellers by their talent to establish and maintain myriad connections, both to other
    slum dwellers and people outside the slum. Through these connections they attempt to
    create access to resources, to gain prestige, and arrive at recognition of their needs and
    those of their fellow slum dwellers.
    Community leaders also need their connections in order to make a living. They
    engage in the realm of electoral politics, looking for resources and prestige. Yet, their
    practices inevitably implicate them in particular tensions between opposing dimensions.
    They are confronted with the diverging expectations of fellow slum dwellers. This
    results in tensions of love for the community versus self-interest, and between the
    expectation that community leaders derive prestige and resources through electoral
    politics and the accusation that they are contaminated by electoral political interests.
    Slum dwellers are attracted by electoral politics’ image of opulence and possibilities
    beyond compare. Meanwhile, they distrust involvement in it, as it seemingly
    marginalises community issues in favour of assuming and maintaining public positions
    and making money.
    Chapter 3 introduces the community leaders Ovídio, Creuza, and Zezinho, their
    personalities, their projects, their operational styles, and their competition. It pays
    attention to how they articulate and consolidate needs and aspirations of their fellow
    slum dwellers, and operate between the tensions introduced in chapter 2. Each leader’s
    trajectory towards becoming a leader is presented, including their historical record of
    achievements and their thematic interests, comprising issues in which they specialise,
    which allow them to establish connections with people around specific topics. Three
    case studies are presented, one on each community leader, closely examining how they
    give shape to slum politics in their projects.
    Chapter 4 discusses how ordinary life in the slum is lived, through narrating
    histories of how four families in the slum organise their lives. These stories shed light on
    the way the economy is lived in a site where unemployment is high, self-employment
    often the only way to make a living, and allowances form a great part of the money
    coming in. I show a particular economic dynamic, where much of the money remains
    circulating within the slum, with a specific gendered labour division, an emphasis on
    connections, gift-giving, and a social use of money.
    In Chapter 5, I analyse how slum politics is intertwined with, but different from,
    electoral and themselves, know well. Community leaders distinguish themselves from other slum
    dwellers by their talent to establish and maintain myriad connections, both to other
    slum dwellers and people outside the slum. Through these connections they attempt to
    create access to resources, to gain prestige, and arrive at recognition of their needs and
    those of their fellow slum dwellers.
    Community leaders also need their connections in order to make a living. They
    engage in the realm of electoral politics, looking for resources and prestige. Yet, their
    practices inevitably implicate them in particular tensions between opposing dimensions.
    They are confronted with the diverging expectations of fellow slum dwellers. This
    results in tensions of love for the community versus self-interest, and between the
    expectation that community leaders derive prestige and resources through electoral
    politics and the accusation that they are contaminated by electoral political interests.
    Slum dwellers are attracted by electoral politics’ image of opulence and possibilities
    beyond compare. Meanwhile, they distrust involvement in it, as it seemingly
    marginalises community issues in favour of assuming and maintaining public positions
    and making money.
    Chapter 3 introduces the community leaders Ovídio, Creuza, and Zezinho, their
    personalities, their projects, their operational styles, and their competition. It pays
    attention to how they articulate and consolidate needs and aspirations of their fellow
    slum dwellers, and operate between the tensions introduced in chapter 2. Each leader’s
    trajectory towards becoming a leader is presented, including their historical record of
    achievements and their thematic interests, comprising issues in which they specialise,
    which allow them to establish connections with people around specific topics. Three
    case studies are presented, one on each community leader, closely examining how they
    give shape to slum politics in their projects.
    Chapter 4 discusses how ordinary life in the slum is lived, through narrating
    histories of how four families in the slum organise their lives. These stories shed light on
    the way the economy is lived in a site where unemployment is high, self-employment
    often the only way to make a living, and allowances form a great part of the money
    coming in. I show a particular economic dynamic, where much of the money remains
    circulating within the slum, with a specific gendered labour division, an emphasis on
    connections, gift-giving, and a social use of money.
    In Chapter 5, I analyse how slum politics is intertwined with, but different from,
    electoral and governmental politics. I follow Partha Chatterjee’s theorising on popular
    politics, conceptualised as those ‘contrary mobilisations’ that may have ‘transformative
    effects … among the supposedly unenlightened sections of the population’ (2004:49).
    Chatterjee distinguishes the politics of marginalised people from the politics of the state
    apparatus and the government, and argues that the former should not be understood as
    “pre-political” and backward, but as a politics with its own parameters and logics,
    ‘different from that of the elite’ (idem:39). My reservation to Chatterjee’s theorisations is that he presents popular politics as a residual category, derived from governmental
    politics. I argue instead that slum politics is not primarily reactive to or derived from
    governmental politics, but co-exists with it as it is constituted in the needs and
    aspirations of slum dwellers.
    Chapter 6, zeroing in on the 2004 municipal elections, shows the overlap between
    slum politics and electoral politics. It documents how electoral politics penetrates into
    the slum and contaminates slum politics. Community leaders employ the moment of the
    elections to negotiate with candidates to garner resources for the community and
    themselves. However, electoral politics entails the possible risk of steering away from
    community interests into issues of self-interested yearnings for power and money. Two
    case studies show attempts of community leaders, as political canvassers, to manoeuvre
    in the realm of electoral politics in such ways as to also make money, cater to needs and
    aspirations of fellow slum dwellers, and steer clear of accusations of being selfinterested.
    Chapter 7 presents a case study of encounters between slum politics and
    governmental politics. Parts of Chão de Estrelas were planned to be regenerated by a
    large World Bank funded slum upgrading programme. I analyse the preamble of the
    programme, how it affected the population of the slum, and how community leaders
    dealt with it. With reference to Bruno Latour’s work, I argue that the ambiguity which
    existed around the programme actually called it into existence. I contend that a project
    creates a context in which it becomes real, through rumours and ‘little solidities’ (Latour
    1996:45), like meetings, surveys, maps, aerial photographs, offices, brochures, registers,
    maps, surveyors and their reports, and census stickers.
    I also argue that the programme affected slum dwellers in their most vulnerable
    places: their homes, neighbourhoods, and possibilities for work. As a consequence,
    feelings of despair, evoking fears of being ignored as a person with specific needs and
    aspirations, hit hard in the lives of slum dwellers.
    Chapter 8 analyses how life in the slum is framed by violence. Next to the symbolic
    and structural violence of discrimination, slum dwellers face acts of violence on a daily
    basis, like fights, assaults and shoot-outs, often related to drug trade. Community
    leaders and drug traders maintain a tacit balance by which they steer clear of contact
    with each other. Slum dwellers, I show, perceive of violence as extraordinary through
    acts of mentioning it, reflecting upon it, avoiding it, and expressing aspirations for a life
    without it. In contrast, they also see violence as normal, as it is an everyday life
    Furthermore, this chapter argues that, whereas actual violence occurs at random,
    potential violence is structured and structuring. Dealing with potential violence, slum
    dwellers ban violence discursively from their personal lives by depicting it as related to
    ‘the other’ and ‘elsewhere’. In addition, they adhere to moral categories which define
    those who die from violence as evil, as such seeing their death as a good thing which rids the community of wrong-doers.
    Turning again to the intersection between slum politics and governmental politics,
    the chapter argues that the concept of citizenship does not resonate with the lives of
    slum dwellers who reside in sites where citizenship rights per definition do not hold.
    Part of the violence slum dwellers face is related to the intrusive workings of the statedesigned
    project of registered citizenship, which centres on the compulsory carrying of
    identity cards. Slum dwellers, instead of being recognised as citizens through their
    identity cards, are discriminated and approached in violent ways by the police who
    consider them as criminals.
    Chapter 9, as a conclusion, argues once more against the mystification and
    “othering” of slum dwellers, and distances them from the philosopher Giorgio
    Agamben’s notion of homo sacer (1998, 2005). Slum dwellers do not coincide with homo
    sacer, as they are not officially abandoned by law and maintain personal connections
    with people outside the slum. Further, the dominant image of the slum dweller as a
    dangerous criminal separates him from homo sacer, who is harmless. Moreover, slum
    politics assigns a political quality to life in the slum, which makes it a politically
    qualified life (bios) instead of the bare life (zoē) of homo sacer. Slum dwellers’ position in
    the political and economic order, although marginalised, is different from the position of
    homo sacer, who exists outside of the order. Finally, in contrast to homo sacer, slum
    dwellers are not a minority, but a fast growing social class which will soon exist of more
    than half of the world’s population. I incite anthropologists to study not only the general
    exclusionary workings of political systems, but also the mundane practices and utopian
    aspirations of people living in the margins, as an analysis of these may help to imagine
    novel political possibilities.
    Vital Differences : on public Leadership and societal innovation
    Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2007
    Wageningen : Wageningen Universiteit - 48
    bestuur - leiderschap - sociale verandering - innovaties - kennis - onderzoek - participatie - regionale ontwikkeling - bestuurskunde - sociale processen - systeeminnovatie - governance - administration - leadership - social change - innovations - knowledge - research - participation - regional development - public administration - social processes - system innovation
    Under the denominator of transitions or sometimes even system innovations, significant processes of change are in progress. When these processes affect major social tasks such as sustainable development, it is referred to as 'societal innovation'. For example innovations like space for rivers, care farms, Greenport Venlo, agroparks, ‘Healing Hills’ (‘Helende Hellingen’) or the Oostervaardersplassen lakes. In this speech Katrien Vermeer concentrates mainly on analyzing the dynamics behind these processes of change of societal innovation. She is particularly interested in what the government actors contribute to this, from her position in the field of study into public administration
    Netwerken als levend weefsel : een studie naar kennis, leiderschap en de rol van de overheid in de Nederlandse landbouw sinds 1945
    Wielinga, E. - \ 2001
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; H.R. van Gunsteren. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058083937 - 400
    communicatie - kennis - leiderschap - regering - landbouw - voorlichting - nederland - geschiedenis - overheidsbeleid - landbouwvoorlichting - netwerken - communication - knowledge - leadership - government - agriculture - extension - government policy - history - netherlands - agricultural extension - networks
    The need for a new narrativeSelf fulfilling narratives

    People tell narratives to each other about the way the world functions. Some of the narratives are so powerful that they influence the way many people act, and thus these narratives become selffulfilling. To a certain extent this is, because the real world is always more complex than any narrative describes. If we stick too long to a certain narrative, increasing tension will be felt between the world we wish to create and the world as it appears to us: a world that refuses to obey our models in rather unpleasant ways. At this point we need a new narrative. "Living Tissue" as a metaphor for human networks offers an opening to a new narrative.

    The present day requires a high degree of willingness among people to attune their behaviour to the needs of their ecological and social environment, as well as creativity in developing new solutions. There have always been networks of people who feel committed and who become creative together, and such networks also exist in the present time. What narrative offers sufficient understanding of the way such networks function, and what can we do to make such networks flourish?

    Dutch agriculture as scenery

    The Dutch agricultural sector has performed remarkably well in the post war period. It is remarkable that the Netherlands as a small industrialised country has conquered such a strong position on the world market for agricultural products and food. It is also remarkable that, especially in the period 1956 - 1984, this was achieved by a large network of actors with a high degree of commitment and extraordinary innovativeness, while the basis was formed by a large number of relatively small family farms. One could say that Dutch agriculture functioned as a network avant-la-lettre. The mechanisms in such networks differ from those in goal-oriented organizations such as commercial enterprises or bureaucracies. These mechanisms are currently interesting whereas enterprises and bureaucracies also feel the need to adapt their modes of organization to the new reality of the plural network society.

    Recent history of Dutch agriculture offers a fascinating scenery for a study of mechanisms behind networks of people who feel committed and creative. This goes not only for the period of expansion. Equally fascinating is the period that followed, when tension increased because society did not accept the negative side effects of the intensive agricultural production system any longer, and the once so strong agricultural network fell apart into different interest groups that had to find new relationships with each other and with the rest of society. Many people involved have experienced this period as rather depressing, and at present this feeling of depression is still quite persistent in the Dutch agricultural scene. The need for new narratives is manifest.

    The assignment for this study

    Two policy development projects have paved the way for this study. As an officer for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV) I was involved in these projects in the period 1993-1995. One project investigated the changing role of intermediate organizations in the Agricultural Knowledge System, as a contribution to a new LNV knowledge policy plan for the period until 1999. The other project tried to find new ways to communicate with stakeholders in society during the preparation of new government policies. In combination with a few policy tasks, the newly formed Department for Science and Knowledge Dissemination allowed me in the period 1995 - 1999 to work out a PhD thesis on the changing role of Government in the agricultural knowledge system. This book is the result of this study.

    Knowledge, leadership and the role of governments

    Knowledge is an interesting starting point for those who are interested in innovation processes. What is knowledge, how does knowledge develop, and where do new impulses come from? The Dutch agricultural knowledge system has a good international reputation: it is generally assumed that the system for knowledge development and exchange has contributed substantially to the innovative capacity of the sector. On the other hand knowledge is also crucial for collective awareness that leads to conscious behaviour with respect to ecology and social justice. The struggle of the agricultural sector to achieve a new agreement with society for its licence to produce, provides lessons to be learned in this respect as well.

    The focus of this study is on leadership, since I am especially interested in what people can do in order to stimulate creativity and commitment in networks. Are there possibly some essential leadership functions that always need to be performed in whatever way? From whom can we expect leadership? And what institutional environment is favorable or inhibitive for such leadership performance?

    To a certain extent governments create the institutional environment that is more or less conducive for leadership. In the period of Dutch agricultural expansion the "Research - Extension - Education Tryptich" was famous for its contribution to agricultural innovation. The Ministry of Agriculture governed all institutions in this tryptich, and they worked closely together for the benefit of the sector. The role of the agricultural extension service is of special interest, because this service acted as the interface between farmers, research, education, industry and policy makers. By the time I started this study all interrelationships had been shaken up drastically, and it was crucial to know what functions would be left exclusively for governments in the new reality of the knowledge market. When I mention the government in this study, I therefore primarily have the Dutch national government in mind.

    The story is not exclusive for agriculture

    I gratefully made use of the Dutch agriculture as a scenery for this study, because I assumed that important lessons could be learned from its remarkable history. Furthermore this enabled me to make use of my experience as a government official and as an expert in rural extension. This does not mean however that the result of the study would be exclusively of interest to the agricultural sector. Along the lines of this study I think others could tell similar stories about their fields of work, and I hope that this book will stimulate further thinking about the narratives that structure our lives.

    Four narrativesThe instrumental paradigm

    From the many narratives that are told, three could be mentioned as particularly influential in post war agriculture in the Netherlands. In the instrumental narrative ( Kuhn (1970) postulated the concept of paradigm for narratives with a strong structuring influence in science: this term is used throughout the book.) the world is a technical challenge. The more mankind knows about the way the world functions, the better people will know how to set the proper goals and to develop the appropriate instruments to achieve them for the benefit of all. Knowledge is the objective truth, or the best way to achieve what people want. The government must ensure that proper knowledge is developed and disseminated.

    The instrumental paradigm was dominant in agriculture as long as people in the agricultural network identified themselves with their common interest. They generally agreed on a common direction, and problems could be solved or externalised rather easily. This situation changed in 1984 when the Ministry of Agriculture was forced to impose unpopular measures against overproduction and pollution. Science was no longer capable of being the objective referee in the conflicts of interests that arose. The pressure to reach consensus in order to preserve the system of shared responsibility in governing the sector made it impossible to effectuate necessary changes, and this resulted in increasing tension between farmers, government and other interest groups.

    The strategic paradigm

    Gradually the strategic paradigm became more powerful. From 1994 onwards it became dominant in government policies when the structure, in which the government and farmers organizations had jointly governed the sector, broke down.

    In the strategic narrative the world is an arena where one can win and lose. Individual interest and power struggle rule everyday life, and co-operation is only possible by creating win-win situations or under pressure from external conditions. Knowledge has strategic value. Knowledge is a product that can be produced and traded on a knowledge market where there is demand and supply. The government must ensure that the market functions properly, for example by urging knowledge institutions to make knowledge production demand driven. For those fields of interests, where parties in the open market cannot be expected to invest properly, the government must intercede and act as a client on the market. Furthermore the government must use its power and means to bind actors to boundary conditions set by society.

    The strategic paradigm released parties from their strangulating entwinement. Furthermore the shift from collective governance to market relationships in the agricultural knowledge system gave way to the ever advancing specialization in the sector, and to the increased influence of actors from outside. However, the strategic narrative has its limitations as well. It leads to a world where one must win to survive. In such a world there is little space for doing what is needed in the network from which people depend. In this paradigm it is hard to see where healthy competition escalates into power struggle that is harming all parties involved. Relationships in the agricultural sector did not quite improve since since the strategic narrative became dominant.

    The communicative paradigm

    Under the surface a third narrative gained influence in the nineties. In the communicative paradigm the world is a village where all inhabitants are interdependent, although many are not aware. Thus, unfortunately, they are digging their own grave. Collective action follows collective conciousness, but such consciousness can only emerge from a social learning process. Precondition for this learning process is that all parties acknowledge that no one can claim the sole truth. In this paradigm knowledge is an individual construct of reality, whereas collective knowledge can develop through interaction. The willingness to interact can only increase if parties accept that others can have different conceptions of reality that nay be meaningful.

    Interactive policy development was a promising approach, making stakeholders in society responsible for their share in collective solutions. It gave hope for those who wished to improve troublesome relationships amongst parties in the agricultural network as well as relationships with other actors in the green space. In practice it appeared that these processes could be easily frustrated by parties that were not willing to collaborate or that held hidden agendas. Strategic thinkers did not like to lay down their weapons in exchange for such vulnerable processes where it is hard to make actors accountable for their results.

    The ecological paradigm

    A fourth narrative is explored in this book. In the ecological paradigm the world is a huge living organism, in which human networks figure as living tissue. The process of life is autonomous, and living networks can be healthy or sick. In this paradigm knowledge has the biological function of social interaction: knowledge enables people to respond to their social and ecological environment. I call this narrative the ecological paradigm, following Röling and Jiggins (2000) who focus on the quality of this response. This quality is high if people adjust their behaviour effectively to the environmental requirements.

    The structure of the book

    After the introduction and the methodological justification, the post war history of Dutch agriculture is told. In six time periods it is described how the meaning of knowledge and opinions on policies have changed. Special attention is paid to the role of agricultural extension, which was regarded as a policy instrument on the edge of communication and influencing farming conditions. Changing circumstances made it necessary to change opinions, thus affecting the circumstances in turn. This story is told in a manner which most of those directly involved will recognise.

    In the chapters which follow the role of knowledge, leadership and governments in the ecological paradigm are discussed. Each chapter concludes with a review, in order to evaluate what the ecological paradigm as a framework for analysis could add to our understanding of history. The last chapter investigates the practical consequences if this paradigm be accepted. How would this affect peoples actions as compared with current policy making practices?

    Living tissue as a metaphorLiving processes

    Living organisms consist of particles that are structurally coupled through patterns of interaction. The organism is reproduced by these patterns, and the organism reproduces its particles, each having their function within the entire organism. The organism has an identity, distinguishing the inside world from the outside. Living organisms can be seen as networks, and each network is a node in one or more larger networks, up to the universal network of the living world. In living networks a division of tasks exists, and in the evolutionary process this task division can develop into impressive complexity and beauty, as can be observed in the tropical rainforest or the coral reef.

    If we see human networks as living organisms, such networks can have a strong or weak identity that influences the willingness of people to attune their behaviour to the interaction within the network. In a vital network this willingness is apparent, making the network more attractive. This positively affects willingness again, thus making the vital process selfpropelling.

    From the biological point of view it can be assumed that there are two driving forces behind the energy released in this interaction. Firstly, there is the need of the individual to provide input and to manifest him/herself. The function of this drive for selffulfilment is the development of individual quality to the benefit of the collective. Secondly, there is the need to be a useful part of a larger entity, which provides safety and meaning to individual efforts. In a healthy vital process added value is generated by reaching higher degrees of task division, creating space for individuals to develop their own qualities further within the safe and stimulating environment of the network.

    Energy en structure

    Each network develops structure as a complex of agreements, procedures, institutions, culture and material circumstances, which channels interaction. Without structure there is no added value. Structure is the tissue which gives shape to living processes. Maintaining structure requires energy, but the balance is positive if more energy is released by the interaction enabled by the structure.

    However, this is not always the case. Just like in living plants and animals, structures can lose their flexibility to grow along with the autonomous living process. Structures may have to die in order to give way to new life. In human networks regression can be recognized when procedures and control are predominant over enthusiasm and satisfaction. This results in decreasing willingness of people to provide their input and to attune to the network. This is a process that is self reinforcing too.


    The ability of an organism to respond effectively to its environment is determined by its responsiveness. Responsiveness is made up by two abilities: firstly to attune actions to the environmental requirements, and secondly to provide authentic input based on specific qualities. If the responsiveness of the organism gets blocked, structure cannot grow properly along with the vital process.

    Vital space as a concept

    In the book the Circle of Coherence visualises the distinction between vitality and regression. [ figure 1 ]. The circle is a two-dimensional model for interactive patterns. The patterns in the centre of the circle are vitalising: this centre is called the vital space. In the quadrant of autonomy people interact on the basis of exchange, whereas in the quadrant of competition they do so on the basis of challenge. In the quadrant of hierarchy they accept discipline and mutual differences, and in the quadrant of self-governance people take their own responsibility for the network based on dialogue and equal relationships. All these patterns are satisfying. They contribute to the identity of the network, and thus to the willingness to provide authentic input and to attune.

    Each pattern can deform into regression. Autonomy can degenerate into isolation, and competition can escalate into power struggle. Hierarchy can turn into dominance with oppressors and oppressed parties, while self-governance can get bogged down into groupthink. This last pattern was at stake at the end of the period of consensus in the Dutch agricultural network. Regressive patterns can be recognized by loss of energy, resulting in a network that gets stuck in inertia or dissolves into chaos.

    The difference between vitality and regression is responsiveness. In human relationships this is equal to respect: the acknowledgement of all parties being meaningful parts of the network, and the recognition of the fact that all that reveals itself in the network can have a function, even if it cannot (yet) be understood. In biological terms this constitutes the quality of the structural coupling between the components of the living network. Loss of respect means that the coupling is blocked.

    It is impossible to determine objectively where the vital space is situated. One can experience that interaction is meaningful and inspiring or that regression occurs. Vitality cannot be constructed or forced. One can only create space for vitality by steering on the signals of regression.

    The knowledge- and position dimensions in the Circle of Coherence

    The first dimension that mounts the circle is the knowledge axis (vertical). If we see knowledge as the complex of constructs of reality and behavioural patterns people use to respond to their environment, then knowledge develops in the creative tension between similarities and differences. There needs to be sufficient recognition to feel safe and to experiment, and common language to communicate with others. On the other hand there need to be sufficient differences in order to become interested, and to exchange existing images and patterns of behaviour for new ones. In short: in order to learn.

    The second dimension is the position axis (horizontal). On this axis there is also creative tension, this time between the positions of the individual and the collectivity of the network. Interaction is satisfactory if the individual experiences freedom to provide its input, and if that input is of importance to the whole. This is the tension between attuning as required by the network and the space the individual needs to provide his authentic input.

    These two dimensions produce a circle with four quadrants, where vitalising and regressive patterns can be located. If vitalising patterns are stronger than the regressive ones willingness to give input and to attune in increases. This leads to more task division, diversity and quality, resulting in more coherence in the network. This is why the model is referred to as the Circle of Coherence.

    Illusions and escalating interactive patterns.

    Why do people cause trouble to themselves and others by slipping away into regressive patterns? People can't help thinking by images, although any image is a simplification of reality. In fact these images are illusions, and any illusion can block the structural coupling unless people are prepared to drop these illusions in time and to be receptive to what reveals to them. The latter can be satisfactory, but also risky. Sticking to an illusion is a means of self-defence in order to avoid stress. This way of dealing with threats can clog into long lasting behavioural patterns, even when the real threat is no longer apparent.

    In the book four types of illusions are mentioned, belonging to each of the four quadrants in the circle of cohesion [ figure 2 ]. The one who flees imagines being free by isolating himself from others. This is a counterdependent position, because he makes his awareness of freedom depending from the supposed influence of those from whom he is trying to escape. The fighter does not feel free until he has conquered his freedom upon the other party. This is a counterdependent position as well. In case of dominance parties resign in an illusion of "unfreedom". Both the oppressor and the oppressed feel emprisoned in the idea that the other party makes it impossible for them to move. This is a dependent position, just as is the case in groupthink where people feel free at the grace of the protection offered by others. In this case people adapt their behaviour, avoiding any risks that could damage the protection. Each illusion is easily reinforced because the behaviour it provokes in others keeps on reconfirming it. This is how escalating interaction patterns develop, which form blockages to the responsiveness of the network.

    These patterns are to a large extent due to choices people make implicitly. They cannot be discussed because most of them occur subconciously. There might also be reasons people would rather not admit to. This explains why the communicative approach often fails: interactive policy development and other participatory methods are effective as long as people are willing to communicate their wishes, images and perceived risks. There are limits to this willingness. The strategic approach makes use of power in order to influence the conditions of others. Then it is hard to see in what cases an intervention breaks down a blockage, and when it simply reinforces the escalating pattern.


    In living processes power evokes counterpower. Similarly in living human networks there are always people who intuitively feel that something needs to be done in order to restore vital space. This is an important notion of leadership that surpasses rationality. The instrumental, strategic and communicative narrative all take rational thinking and acting individuals as their basis for analysis. Rationality only explains part of human behaviour. The ecological paradigm offers a perspective that also involves its emotional and intuitive aspects.

    Leadership as creating space for vitality.

    Vitality cannot be constructed or directed. However, it is possible to create space for it to develop. This is what leadership is all about in the ecological paradigm. Leadership means selectively creating space for vitality by restoring the structural coupling between the actors in the network. This can be done by stimulating input and tuning, or by shattering illusions that block the vital process. There are many ways to do so, and the book contains several examples. It is important to notice that a leadership intervention that is effective in one situation can be counterproductive in another. The circle of coherence provides insight in types of leadership that might be needed to remove obstruction and to restore the structural coupling, related to different kinds of blockages.

    Rational blockages can be distinguished from emotional ones. Rational blockages can be discussed. Not all cooperation is useful, and a proposal for change does not necessarily lead to improvement. Risks can be real and should be taken into account. Here stimulating leadership roles are helpful to improve communication and awareness. Emotional blockages are different because they cannot be communicated. Then antagonistic leadership roles might be needed that affect the conditions of actors in the network. Taking such roles, there is always a looming danger that regressive patterns escalate further, instead of the healthy effects which are hoped for. Only an actor with authority can restore respect by an intervention of this kind, because he does not offer any provocations that can fuel the illusions of actors involved.

    Change agents, gatekeepers and survivors

    Not only are constructive actions needed for vital processes: disturbances are important as well. Life develops in interaction between convergent and divergent movements: between construction and destruction in order to give way to change. Looking at processes of change, this notion leads to the image of change agents, gatekeepers and survivors.

    Change agents recognize opportunities, and take initiatives for action. They influence others who join the action and strengthen the movement. In this way informal networks develop that generate energy. Sooner or later the change agents run into the gatekeepers who feel responsible for the existing structure. Not every change is an improvement. Both parties are necessary for healthy change. In practically every network survivors can also be found. They primarily are concerned with their own position and refuse to take the risks of change, either because they do not want it, or because they cannot afford to do so. Each of these roles is justifiable, and in fact the behaviour of every person is a mixture of all three of them. It depends on the circumstances and the courage of the person involved what role will surface in each specific situation.

    This view on change sheds new light on the relationship between formal and informal networks, the nature of hidden agendas, on strategies for change, and on the space which can be created for leadership.

    Three levels of leadership

    With respect to the couplings between the individual, the network, and the outside world, three levels of leadership are distinguished. The first level is personal leadership. This is the initiative taken by an individual to make the network move. It is the authentic input of someone who wishes change. His input can influence others who join and strengthen the movement. Horizontal leadership is what someone does in order to make the network function properly: this concerns efforts to stimulate input from actors involved and to make them fit in order to create synergy. At the third level there is vertical leadership, seeking proper attunement between the network and the bigger entity of which the network forms a part.

    The institutional environment and thresholds for leadership

    The degree of risk in taking leadership role differs from one situation to another. Even if the threshold of leadership is high there are heroes, but there is less chance that they surface than if the threshold is low. Every network develops structure, and every structure creates possibilities as well as limitations which create thresholds for leadership on the three levels of leadership as mentioned earlier. This notion of thresholds can be used as an analytical tool for the investigation of responsiveness of a network. In the book this is illustrated by correlating thresholds for leadership at three levels with the changes in the institutional environment of the agricultural network in six successive periods of Dutch agriculture.

    The role of government

    Government is not an actor just like the others. Government has a public mandate to guard collective interests, and it authorized to impose taxes and to use force. government has considerable influence on the institutional environment which creates thresholds for leadership.

    The steering role of governments is disputed. The book mentions three dilemmas for the debate: the dilemma of control (where to go?), the dilemma of direction (who is in control?), and the dilemma of legitimacy (how is government intervention justified?). The first dilemma refers to the knowledge dimension [ figure 1 ] in the ecological paradigm, and the tension between certainty and uncertainty. The second dilemma is situated at the position dimension, and includes the repartition of responsibilities between government and other actors in influencing the future. The dilemma of legitimacy points at the question whether people accept the authority of government if it intervenes in the network they identify themselves with. This is the dilemma between control and public support.

    The government in a responsive society

    In a complex society the quality of the structural couplings between various groups of actors becomes crucial. These high quality couplings feed trust in the institutional environment that enables an extended task division. Government holds per definition the position of a gatekeeper. Not as the one and only, but as a gatekeeper with a specific mandate to intervene if trust is at stake. This is the case if essential networks do not function well or if interfaces are lacking.

    Essential for the quality of society is the existence of circuits through which malfunctioning networks can be detected and repaired. If such networks appear to be unable to solve their own problems, and if this has serious consequences for society, there must be a collective circuit which is mandated to intervene, and capable of intervening effectively.

    The position of government in this circuit is delicate. Especially in cases where emotional blockages and escalating patterns occur, the acceptance of the authority of government and the legitimacy of its intervention are crucial. It takes more than just a mandate based on legislation or a majority of elected representatives in Parliament. In order to acquire authority government must avoid becoming part of the escalating power struggle itself.

    The risky present day

    In the period of collective responsibility in Dutch agriculture the structural couplings within the sector were functioning extraordinarily well. However, the coupling with the rest of society was lacking. The identification of Ministry of Agriculture with the sector was too strong, informal networks were overruling the formal ones, and the threshold for vertical leadership was high. This period was followed by a period of detachment, when informal networks were in disgrace, separate responsibilities of different parties were stressed, and government set out to determine the sidelines of the playing field.

    If we review the present day with the analytical framework as explored in this book, we see that risky situation has developed. The political mandate government calls upon is rather thin. The road between voters and concrete policy measures is long and winding. Informal networks which once connected different networks have been broken up, and the role of intermediate actors in the agricultural knowledge network has crumbled. The "open agricultural knowledge system" has turned into a knowledge market with a culture of accountability. As a result selfreferential circles pop up easily, amongst policy makers and funding agencies as well as interest groups. Images of reality are confirmed within their own circle, and develop into strong illusions. Consequently, between various groups mutual misunderstanding grows. Farmers feel misunderstood and undervalued. Policy makers feel forced to impose more severe measures in order to bind farmers to limiting conditions.

    The result is an escalating power struggle involving government . This does not contribute to responsiveness: neither within the network of actors in agriculture, nor within the larger network of society either. A government that is too deeply involved in the design of society loses the position that is needed to intervene if necessary. The strategic narrative, that is presently dominant, does not offer criteria to distinguish interventions that can restore vitality from those which only fuel regressive patterns.

    ConsequencesFive principles

    In this study I have explored the features of the ecological paradigm. Without pretending to be exhaustive, the last chapter offers dozens of practical consequences for policy development, categorized under five leading principles.

    [1] Vitality in a network is nourished by personal leadership

    The focus of attention is put on the authentic input of people who are willing to make an effort for what they believe in. Without such input no vitality can emerge. This focus turns common opinions about task fulfillment and control by demand upside down. People contribute to vital networks if they create space for their desires, and look for attuning with others in a way that adds value and synergy emerges. This requires an attitude that differs from that of people who comply with existing rules and mandates, and seek to satisfy demands from others. This goes for the requirements from bosses or financiers, just the same as the supposed demands in the market.

    This theory puts earlier goal oriented paradigms into perspective. In the instrumental paradigm solid knowledge leads to individual and collective goals. A better understanding of reality and mutual dependency is supposed to make clear which road is best to follow. The strategic paradigm takes individual goals as the starting point. People strive for their own personal interests. Cooperation can only be successful if such interests overlap. The value of knowledge is related to the interests of the actors. According to the communicative paradigm people are willing to enter into a social learning process only if they believe they have a common interest. Here the common goal is a precondition for the development of relevant knowledge. In the concept of vital space however, goals emerge from the willingness to provide input and to attune. Goals form part of structure, and channel collective input. Not a common goal but vitality is the focus for action. Personal leadership as the point of departure allows us to see that in some cases we need more structure, but in other cases we need to oppose against set goals and mandates in order to restore the vital process.

    In the ecological paradigm intuition and inspired leadership fill a prominent role, in a healthy relationship with rationality. Nourishment of vital processes is not to be found in rational calculations, but in the intuition which precedes them.

    [2] Relevant knowledge emerges from interaction

    In the four narratives as described here knowledge has different meanings. The book illustrates seven occasions in the course of post war history of Dutch agriculture. In each period new aspects of knowledge were added to the existing, because previous understanding of knowledge had become too narrow in order to face new challenges. An eighth aspect is surfacing at the present day.

    In the ecological paradigm knowledge is linked to effective action. Knowledge which is valid in one situation can become a blinding insight in another, distracting people from what needs to be done. Knowledge as the objective truth; formal knowledge that can be stored in books or hard disks; or knowledge as a product to be produced and traded: all these static notions of knowledge are put into perspective by this paradigm. In the strict sense knowledge transfer is impossible. People can acquire knowledge, and they do so in interaction with their environment.

    This understanding shifts the focus of attention from the quality of knowledge in terms of reliability or validity towards the quality of the interaction from which relevant knowledge may emerge. An actor who seeks to stimulate creative and responsible behaviour amongst others, must excert effort to ensure that they acquire relevant knowledge. Such interventions always combine communication and positional game. The most effective combination depends on the type of blockages which hamper the process of knowledge development, and the position of the actor who intervenes. What is effective in one situation might be counterproductive in another.

    A message can be inspiring because it adds words to what someone has already felt intuitively. Thus space is created in the mixture of conflicting images of reality within the mind. Interventions can also create space for the acquisition of knowledge because they shatter illusions which block the path of perception and responsiveness.

    [3] Leadership is creating space for vitality

    Apart from the leader who acts within the limits of his mandate, the ecological paradigm emphasizes the actor who takes up leadership, based on his personal authority. This offers new perspectives for all those cases in which malfunctioning structures are unable to produce proper mandates, and cases of fluid networks where hierarchy is fuzzy. Furthermore it deprives anyone from the excuse of not being authorized to take action on what he thinks is necessary, because he lacks the formal mandate to do so.

    The ecological narrative sheds new light on strategies for change. The energy for change is generated within informal networks of change agents. Structure allows for change if gatekeepers feel confident that the proposed change will mean improvement. If a manager desires change, he should first detect informal networks which can provide the energy for change, and create space for them to develop. Then he should facilitate the debate between the change agents and the gatekeepers, hoping that the latter will open the gates from the inside.

    Thus, the function of leadership is to create space for vitality, by stimulating responsiveness of a network. This means strengthening the structural couplings with the vital centres within the network. In fact, the same is true at the individual level, because everyone possesses vital centres in his own mind, even though he might have locked them thoroughly away. Leadership means help if the leading actor succeeds in enabling a person to make contact again with his own vital sources. The circle of coherence shows that the notion of leadership as giving direction only relates to one of the possible functions of leadership. In many situations this function might counteract vitality in the network.

    The study originally posed the question whether it would be possible to draw up a checklist for essential leadership functions for well functioning knowledge networks. The outcome is negative: the number of possibilities for stimulating vitality is infinite, and a checklist cannot be made. However, much can be done to create space for vital processes. The notion of thresholds for leadership offers an analytical framework for detecting blockages of vitality in networks.

    [4] Structure is favourable for vitality if thresholds for leadership are low

    The ecological paradigm puts common measures for structure, like effectiveness and effectivity, into perspective. At least as important is the question whether structure facilitates vital processes by providing low thresholds for leadership. The prime criterion is responsiveness. Sometimes this requires more emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency, but this can be driven too far as well, resulting in a culture of survival that lacks the energy needed to move towards vitality.

    Not everyone feels he can afford to take a leadership role. A network needs at least one actor who is able to look beyond his own interests, and who possesses the means and the position to do what is necessary for the network. This insight entails a plea for rehabilitation of intermediate actors in the knowledge system.

    [5] A society needs a collective circuit which is able to keep essential networks vital.

    The study shows how the Ministry of Agriculture reluctantly ended up into a regulators role, where it accumulated responsibilities in shaping the environment for agriculture and nature. areas. In the ecological perspective this shaping activity is not a core task of Government . Too much involvement can even deteriorate the position that is needed for interventions in order to keep essential networks vital and responsive.

    The future is not created by governments that set desirable goals and apply appropriate instruments, backed up by political mandate and tax money. Society is shaped by interaction between actors in society who excert themselves for their own or for collective interests. The quality of future depends on the quality of this interaction: from the quality of the vital space that allows for challenges and competition, that can deal with conflicts, and that creates sufficient trust in the tuning mechanisms in society, that makes people willing to share their qualities for the benefit of all.

    Governments must be capable of detecting blockages which hold unacceptable consequences for society, and they must intervene effectively. There are at least three requirements to this effect. Firstly it requires an involved government, on line with what is happening in essential networks. This entails a rehabilitation of informal networks, in which government workers participate. It calls for mixed arrangements where people can complement the qualities of one another, and where they can prevent each other from stepping into pitfalls that are specific to various positions in society. In those mixed arrangements a healthy balance needs to be maintained between informal networks, generating energy and creativity, and the formal structure where every actor bears his own responsibility and can be held accountable for his share.

    This is also a plea for the reinvention of intermediate parties which have sufficient space to manoeuvre for horizontal leadership. In the period of shared identity in Dutch agriculture, the research-extension-education tryptich acted as a huge reservoir of intermediates who were free to do what they thought necessary for the vitality of the network. In the knowledge market that took over in the nineties their role has been marginalized. Nowadays there are new kinds of intermediate actors who deserve more space to manoeuvre.

    The second requirement is the capability of governments to choose the appropriate leadership intervention. In the book five different options for intervention are given, each combining communication and measures which affect conditions for actors (legislation, financial stimuli) in different ways. The proper choice depends on the degree to which actors in the network take responsibility for the solution and for the process of interaction through which these solutions must be found.

    The position of authority required for effective intervention depends as well on the legitimacy in the eyes of the actors involved. This is the third requirement: the government agency must be accepted in the role it chooses. A formal mandate, based on existing laws and election outcomes is not sufficient to this end. People must feel that a government body is acting for the network with which they identify themselves: they must share the same identity. Furthermore people must have trust in opportunities to correct government when its actions deviate too much from public opinion. On both points there is reason for serious concern.

    Concluding remarksFour narratives in perspective

    The ecological narrative I have explored in the book is just another image of reality, and again it won't be the last one. The instrumental paradigm creates space for the interactive patterns hierarchy and self-governance, and puts the collectivity first [ figure 3 ]. This narrative falls short if individual interests demand more space, and if people do not feel sufficiently connected to the identity of the network. In contrast, the strategic paradigm favours autonomy and competition, the basic ingredients for the market place. This narrative falls short with respect to collective interests. It leads to a culture of accountability and calculation, where everyone is just struggling to survive and where the energy to do what must be done for vital networks is lacking. The communicative paradigm stresses the combination of autonomy and the necessity of dialogue and agreement for collective action. This narrative lacks the weapons to break through power struggle and dominance.

    The ecological paradigm enables us to see in which domain the previous narratives are valuable, and when one leaves this domain behind. The breaking point in the comparison however is the fact that goals and rational action are no longer the core focus, but vital space. It is the recognition of development as an autonomous process; the acceptance of the stream that leads to uncharted realms, and the confidence in a good outcome as long as our networks remain responsive.

    Perhaps the next narrative will add a third dimension to the circle of coherence, clarifying the role of inspiration in making people aware of signals of regression and making them do what needs to be done for restoring vitality. Maybe this will be the connection to spiritual awareness many people experience. An awareness that is hardly compatible with the narratives dominating management and policies at present. My exploration is just one step on a continuous road.

    Yet, I hope that this work will stimulate thinking about the restrictive narratives which dominate our lives, and help to create space for those who wish to change them. Innovative and responsible people: they still are present everywhere, amongst farmers, policy makers and in the networks surrounding them.

    Voeding en management hoogproductieve veestapel
    Meijer, R.G.M. ; Boxem, Tj. ; Hanekamp, W.J.A. - \ 1998
    Lelystad : Praktijkonderzoek Rundvee, Schapen en Paarden (Publicatie / Praktijkonderzoek Rundvee, Schapen en Paarden (PR) 130) - 39
    productiviteit - rentabiliteit - dierhouderij - melkvee - melkveehouderij - diervoedering - voer - voedingswaarde - samenstelling - bedrijfsvoering - leiderschap - organisaties - stalvoedering - productivity - profitability - animal husbandry - dairy cattle - dairy farming - animal feeding - feeds - nutritive value - composition - management - leadership - organizations - indoor feeding
    Een hoge melkproductie per koe goed samen kan gaan met een hoge mineralenbenutting. Door het toepassen van normvoedering is een hoge efficiënte melkproductie mogelijk. Hoogproductieve dieren hebben minder VEM per kg meetmelk nodig en zijn dus efficiënter met voer.
    Budgettering van facilitaire activiteiten in algemene ziekenhuizen in Nederland, 1995/1996. De stand van zaken in 1995. (Budgeting of Facility Services in General Hospitals in the Netherlands, the state of the art in 1995/1996).
    Geerkens, H.J.G. ; Ophem, J.A.C. van; Duysens, M.M.A. ; Lenselink, M. ; Melger, K.I.M. ; Nota, M.E.D.A. ; Oosterom, I.D. ; Roffelsen, L.G. - \ 1996
    Zeist : BUFAZ - 82
    bedrijfsvoering - leiderschap - organisaties - boekhouden - boekhouding - budgetten - schattingen - financiële planning - onderzoek - inkomen - consumptie - verpleeghuizen - gezondheidscentra - gebouwen - sociaal welzijn - gezondheidszorg - ziekenhuizen - financiën - huishoudens - ziekenhuiscatering - Nederland - voorzieningen - institutionele huishoudens - management - leadership - organizations - book-keeping - accounting - budgets - estimates - financial planning - research - income - consumption - nursing homes - health centres - buildings - social welfare - health care - hospitals - finance - households - hospital catering - Netherlands - facilities - institutional households
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