When do Community Leaders Align with Client Interests?
Keywords:parks, policy, constituents, opinions.
AbstractManagers should periodically assess the level of support that clients have for their policies. Both on-site users and the general public should be included. Because success in the policy arena is likely to depend on the viewpoint of community leaders, they are in an important third group. This paper compares these three groups over four separate areas of management policy plus overall satisfaction. These policies included recreational and non-recreational land uses. The main comparison made for each policy is whether the leaders are aligned with either of the constituency groups. The results indicate that community leaders usually hold intermediate positions on most issues. Somewhat unexpectedly, they didn't always align with the general population on nonrecreational policies. Lastly, it makes a difference whether the constituency of a park is narrowly or broadly defined. Researchers need to turn their attention to the policy formation process to anticipate when a policy issue is problematic for the agency and which client groups are most important to assess.?
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