Rural Development Group Politics. A hidden cost?

Ruth McAreavey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    I challenge the popular notion of European rural development group dynamics and argue for a better understanding of the role of micro-politics as a means of enhancing the performance of these groups. The views are research based and have relevance to the broader rural development and regeneration sector. Micro-politics involves knowledge, power, trust, perceptions, understanding, social networks, values and traits that arise as a result of individuals interacting within a group whilst working on a shared goal, such as rural development. The monetary and time costs to a community of failing to address micro-politics and nurture positive group relations are considerable. These include time spent in unproductive meetings and poorly prioritized—and ultimately unsuccessful—funding applications as a result of failure to agree priorities. Successful groups rely on individuals interacting in a way that achieves a greater social good. Mutual trust amongst the actors lies at the heart of effective group activity. Effective management of micro-politics requires steps to nurture a culture of mutual trust to ensure that rural development actors co-operate rather than play destructive games with one another. A case study example of a relatively straightforward approach illustrates how this might be done in practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-43
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuroChoices
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2007

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    micro-politics
    rural development
    politics
    costs
    cost
    Group
    group relations
    group dynamics
    social network
    working group
    regeneration
    management
    community
    performance
    Values
    time

    Cite this

    McAreavey, Ruth. / Rural Development Group Politics. A hidden cost?. In: EuroChoices. 2007 ; Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 38-43.
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    Rural Development Group Politics. A hidden cost? / McAreavey, Ruth.

    In: EuroChoices, Vol. 6, No. 1, 30.04.2007, p. 38-43.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - I challenge the popular notion of European rural development group dynamics and argue for a better understanding of the role of micro-politics as a means of enhancing the performance of these groups. The views are research based and have relevance to the broader rural development and regeneration sector. Micro-politics involves knowledge, power, trust, perceptions, understanding, social networks, values and traits that arise as a result of individuals interacting within a group whilst working on a shared goal, such as rural development. The monetary and time costs to a community of failing to address micro-politics and nurture positive group relations are considerable. These include time spent in unproductive meetings and poorly prioritized—and ultimately unsuccessful—funding applications as a result of failure to agree priorities. Successful groups rely on individuals interacting in a way that achieves a greater social good. Mutual trust amongst the actors lies at the heart of effective group activity. Effective management of micro-politics requires steps to nurture a culture of mutual trust to ensure that rural development actors co-operate rather than play destructive games with one another. A case study example of a relatively straightforward approach illustrates how this might be done in practice.

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