The use and potential of Q method in environmental planning and management

Stakeholder engagement is critical to bridge gaps between academic knowledge production and application for environmental resources. Q Methodology, a qualitative and quantitative protocol, is well suited to address environmental planning and management issues through rigorous analysis of stakeholder perspectives. We review several methodological applications that have been used with or within Q Methodology aiming to improve environmental management, inform decision-making and policy, and build consensus. We review their deployment across six domains: (1) Q-set: discourse identification and concourse creation; (2) P-set: strategies to select participants and promote stakeholder engagement; (3) Q-sorts: interaction with respondents during data production; (4) Comparisons: geographic and temporal comparisons; (5) Graphics: visualization techniques to improve interpretation and dissemination; and (6) Methods: the use of complementary and mixed methods. We discuss their utility for environmental planning and management and provide recommendations for integrating these procedures into future research.
Funding Information
  • Texas A&M University and the Office of the President’s Excellence Grants
  • National Research Council of Argentina
  • National University of Salta

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