A strategic Tri-Level relational model for building capabilities and effective governance of complex adaptive systems: the English housing perspective

Thakore, R, Goulding, JS and Holt, GD (2016) A strategic Tri-Level relational model for building capabilities and effective governance of complex adaptive systems: the English housing perspective. In: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), World Building Congress 2016, May 30-June 3, Tampere University, Finland..

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This paper presents a conceptual strategic engagement model which underpins multi-level interventions required for decision-making – especially those governing sustainable transformations. Using the case study of the English housing system, it highlights the importance of integrating complex adaptive systems along with the socio-technical systems theoretical underpinnings, and analyses the strategic interventions needed for populating emerging strategic capabilities (with associated multi-level emerging strategic component-elements). In this context, the discussion includes a conceptual model: Strategic tri-level relational interventions for delivering energy efficiency and sustainability (STRIDES) which makes an innovative contribution to the evidence base for securing successful sustainable transformations. This research engages the research lens of transdisciplinarity using an explicit mixed methods design to maximise engagement and participation approaches. This includes an online survey, Delphi study and focus group (to embrace multi-dimensional sustainability). The online survey was used to identify latent constructs based on correlated commonly agreed perspectives, which helped to provide multi-framing representations of the domains of housing providers, occupiers and regulators. The Delphi study focused on securing strategic interventions in the existing English housing system, in terms of both the strategic capabilities required for effective governance of these interventions and the strategic outcomes of these interventions. The focus group was used to secure in-depth understanding of the STRIDES model, cognisant of it being ‘fit for purpose’ within the tri-level arrangement. Research findings highlight the need to strengthen strategic capabilities that draws on systems-thinking – especially for the implications of specificity (within multi-dimensional complex contexts); and the alignment of decision-making strategies which embrace multi-dimensional perspectives and multi-level governance – as these can often constrain systemic responses to change. The STRIDES model presents a series of sustainable transformational activities in a cogent form through which strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability in societal systems can be effectively leveraged.

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