Title: Challenges and initiatives in sustainable development: an exploratory study of Malaysian local authorities

Authors: A.K. Siti-Nabiha; Nor Hasliza Md. Saad

Addresses: Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 Penang, Malaysia ' School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: This study explores sustainable development (SD) activities of local authorities in Malaysia, the challenges and the motivating factors. The findings indicate that the main activities performed by local authorities (LAs) were heavily concentrated on physical planning, waste management, community services and crime prevention. The main motivating factors for SD activities were local governments' desire to enhance their organisational image and reputation, directives from other government agencies and the increasing community concern for the environment. Lack of financial and human resources as well as lack of involvement from external stakeholders were the main barriers. These obstacles can largely be overcome by LAs creating more awareness and training of their employees on SD practices, communicating more effectively with other authorities towards realising the SD policies into practice and synchronising or integrating the federal, state and LAs' policies with clear objectives and indicators for effective implementation. Such integration creates close cooperation and teamwork, which opens up the opportunity to re-evaluate financial allocations and manpower needs.

Keywords: local authorities; sustainable development practices; challenges; initiatives; implementation; physical planning; waste management; community services; crime prevention; sustainability; developing countries; Malaysia; awareness; training; cooperation; teamwork.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2015.071310

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2015 Vol.7 No.3, pp.255 - 268

Available online: 20 Aug 2015 *

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