Today's problem, tomorrow's solutions: Lay theory explanations of marine space stakeholder management in the Malaysian context
The economic transformation program has triggered the need for vital marine management in Malaysia; thus, the evolution of the legacy management of the marine area is inevitable. This paper examines the problems of marine space management and identifies the peculiarities of the management of marine space stakeholder issues (MSSI) in Malaysia. This qualitative study employed a constructivist grounded theory-focus group (GT-fg) approach set in the interpretive research paradigm. This approach was used to develop a lay representation of Malaysia's marine space stakeholder management. The constant comparative method of analysis was used to analyse and code the interview data. Diverse views were expressed by marine space management stakeholders on different aspects of their professional practice. In the study, these views were constructed according to the major categories of professional identity and the understanding of current practice, and by identifying the current marine space management perspective's influence on the marine space stakeholder process. These views formed four qualitatively different overall conceptions of marine space stakeholder management: collaboration; coordination; data management; and the marine space governance framework. New issues, such as power distance, bureaucratic issues and the organisational structure, emerged in this study with these related to external factors that impinge on the management of marine space stakeholder issues. The study generally revealed that power distance, data management, bureaucratic issues, stakeholder identification, stakeholder engagement and the organisational structure have the greatest impact on MSSI.