Sustainable Urban Water Management: The Champion Phenomenon

(2006 – 2010)
André Taylor

André’s research focused on the leadership dimensions of sustainable urban water management, specifically focusing on emergent leaders (‘champions’) who operate as change agents in Australian water agencies to accelerate the adoption of sustainable urban water management.

The factors that assisted emergent leaders at a project level were identified using theory and research methods from leadership literature, and this knowledge of leaders and leadership processes was used to develop a suite of management strategies to foster this form of the champion phenomenon and build leadership capacity within urban water agencies.

The research found that these emergent leaders displayed distinctive personal attributes, worked in environments where there was resistance to change but were adept at influencing others to adopt new principles and practices.

The research produced 28 management strategies to provide guidance on how to create a supportive leadership context for sustainable urban water management (SUWM) within water agencies, as well as how to attract, recruit, supervise and develop the leadership capacity of project champions. These strategies also address how to foster effective champions at an executive level, as well as encourage coordinated forms of group-based (distributed) leadership to advance SUWM.

Click here to read the abstract of this PhD (PDF, 40KB)

Project Partner:
This research was supported by the NSW Environmental Trust.

Prof Chris Cocklin and Prof Rebekah Brown

Taylor A. (2010) Sustainable Urban Water Management: The Champion Phenomenon. PhD Thesis, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Melbourne Victoria.

Publications (link)

Innovation and AdoptionUrban Water Governance Program