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Wickström, Joel, 2021. Navigating the delivery of a service : a practice perspective on environmental consultants. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



In a world where environmental pressure on companies is increasing, environmental consultancy services are a valued commodity. This study set out to investigate environmental consultants’ practice of delivering an environmental service and what obstacles that practice encounters. This was achieved through a qualitative interview study with environmental consultants. The practice perspective was provided by Cook & Wagenaar’s (2012) Epistemology of Practice, comprised of Actionable understanding, Ongoing business and the Eternally unfolding present. Two inductive concepts were also introduced, used here as a tool to reposition the original practice perspectives lens to better illustrate the researched phenomenon.

The result of the study showed how environmental consultants’ (EC) actions are constituted by the practice of delivering a service. These actions were shown to first generate a practice rather than applying knowledge to the situation. The practice perspective also revealed the taken-for-granted stuff of everyday life of environmental consultants’ and how the practice is generated and sustained through them. The study also detailed how the ECs handle challenges and sustain their practice by living in the present, where past and current practices inform the ECs about their situation and partially informs them about future practices. Showing how well utilized experiences was created and used through the present and applied in future practices. The inductive concepts highlighted the unpredictable nature of delivering ECs services. Environmental consultants’ roles were difficult to predict before a practice was finished, forcing environmental consultants to handle the unpredictability of role assignment in the present. Cooperation was shown to be an important coping mechanism for the unpredictable nature of delivering environmental services. The intrinsic unpredictability of environmental consultancy services was met with practices of sharing knowledge and experience between environmental consultants to increase understandings, improve services and to better handle disruptions in practices.

The practice perspective provides an account for what is there and how what is there creates reality through engagement with it. How the practice is not only a result of agency or structures but generated through social relationships and the material context when engaged with. Providing an account for the reality environmental consultants are situated in when performing their practice. Also, how the practice makes sense and are acted upon by the environmental consultants involved and how the challenges that arise are coped with. Providing practitioners and academics with an insight into a previously unexplored field of study.

Main title:Navigating the delivery of a service
Subtitle:a practice perspective on environmental consultants
Authors:Wickström, Joel
Supervisor:Nordström Källström, Helena
Examiner:Powell, Stina
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:consultant, environment, practice theory, services, social theory
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:22 Sep 2021 08:14
Metadata Last Modified:23 Sep 2021 01:05

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