Facilitating generation of local knowledge using a collaborative initiator: A NIMBY case in Guangzhou, China

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This study claims that the synergic effects of collaborative governance and effective knowledge integration can solve the wicked policy issues. The function of collaborative initiators (CIs) is studied and defined. The mindset of leaders and entrepreneurs as CIs is generally different from that of public managers. Such mindset helps facilitate collaborative dynamics integrating otherwise distributed capacities and knowledge within policy networks. This study examines a case with reference to the site selection of a waste incineration power plant in Guangzhou, China. A unilateral process emerges among the residents of the district to accumulate the self-qualified knowledge before a general discussion was put forward. "Explicit knowledge" intensifies the hostile situation between the public and officials although such knowledge can be easily accessed through an Internet search. A general discussion reveals the potential for generating local knowledge conducive to abolishing the not-in-my-backyard mentality and prompting collaborative problem solving. District government officials are potential CIs whose roles remain in their infancy. This study finds that a collaborative initiator lacks entrepreneurship when faced with an influx of public opinions. The Chinese CIs vacillate between a rule-dominated manager and a policy entrepreneur with the evolution of China into a more diversified society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative governance
  • Guangzhou
  • Local knowledge
  • Waste incineration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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