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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Stakeholder management of golf course development in the Lower Mainland Mosher, Michael Ian


In the years 1988-1991, municipal governments in the Lower Mainland dealt with numerous applications from golf course developers seeking to capitalize on the popularity of the game and a projected shortage of golf courses to meet the increased demand for courses to play on. However, it soon became apparent to those same developers that getting approval for a golf course development was a much more involved process than merely having access to land and the finances to develop the golf course. Applications before Lower Mainland municipal councils at the time were to collide with the interests of individuals and groups other than golfers and their benefactor developers. These oppositional groups contested each other through the formal political reviews process. The purpose of this study was threefold. The first objective was to identify key stakeholders in the unfolding golf boom and determine which were most salient. Having determined the most important stakeholders to the process, the next goal was to determine their stake in the golf course development situation. Finally, the third goal of the study was to examine the process concerning the level of stakeholder management which took place. Successful stakeholder management is dependent upon the ability of an organization to manage their relationships with their stakeholder groups in an action oriented manner (Freeman, 1984). By doing so, the organization is attempting to create compatibility between organizational priorities and stakeholder interests. This increases the probability of the organization's success and survival. Three of the original stakeholder groups proposed (developers, local government and environmental and wildlife groups) and one stakeholder not originally identified (the agricultural community) were confirmed as the most salient stakeholder groups. Three stakeholders originally identified were shown to be less important in the process including related businesses, area residents, and golfers. Stakeholder management was not evident through the golf course development process. Developers were viewed as the individuals responsible to control the stakeholder management process, although little evidence of this was found. Instead it was the local councils that were left to balance the arguments from the opposing stakeholders in an issue of land development. Stakeholder management was considered to be of use to a developer if done prior to the submission of their application.

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