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Using multiple methods to understand agency values and objectives: Lessons for public lands management


  • Iingrid M. Martin


  • Toddi A. Steelman



The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs agencies to determine their objectives based on what stakeholders value. Identifying, measuring and analyzing values and objectives is a key challenge for public land management agencies. Using R and Q factor analysis we assess the values and objectives within the Leadership Team (LT) of the United States Forest Service (USFS). R-factor analysis demonstrates strong support among the LT for a more preservation-oriented view to manage public lands. Q-factor analysis reveals divergent perspectives among the LT and how the aggregated preservation orientation found with the R-factor analysis plays out according to individual perspectives. The findings illustrate the challenges inherent in identifying what values and objectives exist, how they should be analyzed, and the implications for choosing one set of values and objectives over another in public lands management to fulfill the mandates under GPRA.

Suggested Citation

  • Iingrid M. Martin & Toddi A. Steelman, 2004. "Using multiple methods to understand agency values and objectives: Lessons for public lands management," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 37(1), pages 37-69, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:37:y:2004:i:1:p:37-69

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    Cited by:

    1. David Ockwell, 2008. "‘Opening up’ policy to reflexive appraisal: a role for Q Methodology? A case study of fire management in Cape York, Australia," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(4), pages 263-292, December.
    2. Marcelo Lufin Varas & Ángela Villalobos Lorca, 2013. "Valores y Diseños de Política Pública: El Caso de la Implementación del Programa Chile Solidario en las Comunas de la Región de Antofagasta," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 39, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.

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