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Understanding Stakeholder Values Using Cluster Analysis

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The K-Means and Ward’s Clustering procedures were used to categorize value similarities among respondents of a public land management survey. The clustering procedures resulted in two respondent groupings: an anthropocentrically focused group and an ecocentrically focused group. While previous studies have suggested that anthropocentric and ecocentric groups are very different, this study revealed many similarities. Similarities between groups included a strong feeling towards public land and national forest existence as well as the importance of considering both current and future generations when making management decisions for public land. It is recommended that land managers take these similarities into account when making management decisions. It is important to note that using the Ward’s procedure for clustering produced more consistent groupings than the K-Means procedure and is therefore recommended when clustering survey data. K-Means only showed consistency with datasets of over 500 observations.

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Paper provided by University of Waikato in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 07/16.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2007
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:07/16
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  1. Glenn Milligan & Martha Cooper, 1985. "An examination of procedures for determining the number of clusters in a data set," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 159-179, June.
  2. Beckley, Thomas M. & Korber, Dianne, 1995. "Sociology's Potential to Improve Forest Management and Inform Forest Policy," Staff Paper Series 24082, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
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