Lessons Learned by 9 Maritime Spatial Planning Projects in the Baltic Sea Region: A study of the EU-funded transnational public sector projects

Last modified: 
January 30, 2020 - 9:25am
Type: Thesis
Year of publication: 2020
Date published: 01/2020
Authors: Jonas Bjärnstedt
Institution: University of Gothenburg
Academic department: Department of Political Science
Degree: Master in European Studies

This thesis analyses the projects that are used to produce coherent transnational Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) by the EU, in accordance with the MSP directive. As the number of projects have increased, there are so many that there is a possibility that knowledge generated in the projects does not reach subsequent projects. The research was carried out by way of a qualitative content analysis, and used a framework based on planning theory, MSP theory, projectification theory, knowledge management and organisational learning. The coupling of theories allowed for identification of positive and negative consequences of using projects, and what mechanisms facilitate for knowledge management within temporary organisations such as projects. Basing the analysis on planning theory and MSP theory allowed the research to focus on what knowledge was relevant to the knowledge generating process. Together in the framework the theories made it possible to process the large amount of data in the analysis and produce comprehensible results. The findings indicate that when projects have a stable core of participating civil servants and organisations, it is easier to retain knowledge between projects. The results also point towards good knowledge retention in general between MSP projects that are designed to build on one another, but less so regarding the knowledge retention from the supporting research projects, suggesting that closer collaboration might be in order for the generated knowledge to come to good use.

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