Assessing the Relevance of Governmental Characteristics to Address Wicked Problems in Turbulent Times

New paper co-authored with James Denford, Gregory Dawson, and Aroon Manoharan has been published in Public Management Review.

Governments have long faced traditional bureaucratic problems and developed a set of mechanisms to handle them, but few studies have examined the government’s underlying characteristics in addressing such problems. Wicked problems – those with unclear definitions, causal complexity and conflicting goals – are increasingly emerging and are frequently observed in highly turbulent environments – those where variables behave in unpredictable ways. We study the relevance of a range of governmental characteristics during the COVID-19 pandemic and find that, while all government characteristics are sometimes relevant, no single characteristic is always relevant and so they are best treated as a portfolio.

To access the paper, please click [LINK]

How Much is Not Enough: Corporate Social Responsibility and Beyond in the Resources Sector

New paper co-authored with Caroline Veldhuizen, Wasana Bandara, and Artemis Chang has been published in Resources Policy.


  • CSR practices are comprised of stakeholder engagement and operational activities.
  • A holistic framework based upon extant literature enhances analysis of CSR practices.
  • Pursuit of social licence to operate has impacts at both surface and deeper levels.
  • The appearance of a lot of CSR activity is often ‘not enough’.
  • Reflection and learning are crucial to improve responses to diverse stakeholders.

To access the paper, please click here [LINK]


The resources sector is increasingly being called upon to show greater commitment to resolving environmental and social problems prevalent in the regions where they operate. Appeals for greater responsibility, accountability and transparency are getting louder. Consequently, enterprises’ responses to these demands have been the subject of discussion and debate for decades. Theoretical and empirical knowledge regarding these issues has been generated by numerous case studies and evaluations of different approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Critiques of approaches adopted by companies to obtain social license to operate are also plentiful. However, the existing discourse is scattered. It lacks a coherent frame of reference for considering the ways that corporations respond to diverse stakeholder demands and the consequences for value creation. This paper addresses this gap by integrating key insights drawn from the extant literature to develop a novel conceptual framework. It provides a unique perspective on the ways that companies create social, environmental, and economic value for diverse groups of stakeholders, and how this may be improved. This theoretical contribution is accompanied by the creation of a sense-making device that facilitates reflection, learning and the development of strategy. The device can be used by organizations to enhance their capacity to respond to diverse stakeholder groups in ways that bestow real, enduring benefits.


Mitigating Urban Heat

New paper co-authored with Matthias Tuczek, Kenan Degirmenci, Richard T. Watson, TanYigitcanlar, and Michael H. Breitner published in Urban Climate.

Mitigating urban heat with optimal distribution of vegetation and buildings

The impact of climate change on cities poses a growing global threat, which is exacerbated by the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The optimal distribution of vegetation and buildings in urban areas is critical to control the UHI effect and stabilize long-term temperature changes. In this article, we develop an optimization model to maximize revenue while limiting UHI intensity under several restrictions. We run simulations in two urban areas in Brisbane, Australia to test the model’s theoretical predictions. Our results show that a revenue increase by AUD 4.32 billion in Brisbane City and by AUD 1.19 billion in Hamilton involves an increase of the maximum temperature difference between the developed and undeveloped sites from 4 to 5° C through an increase of buildings and thus a decrease of porosity and an increase of population density.

To access the paper [LINK].

Transforming public records management – JASIST

Paula Dootson, Mary Tate, and Peter Townson and I have an article in the current issue of Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). 

Transforming public records management: Six key insights

Records management in the public sector is integral for delivering public good. However, several institutional challenges inhibit the required implementation of innovative and information?centric tools to transform records management in response to the challenges of digitization and to capitalize on new opportunities in the digital economy. In this article, we make recommendations to overcome institutional and legislative barriers to transform records management in the public sector.

To access the article, please click [LINK]

Urban Heat Islands – Sustainable Cities and Society

Kenan Degirmenci, Walter Fieuw, Richard T. Watson, Tan Yigitcanlar, and I have an article in Sustainable Cities and Society.

Policy and technology responses to increased temperatures in urban heat islands (UHIs) are discussed in a variety of research; however, their interaction is overlooked and understudied. This is an important oversight because policy and technology are often developed in isolation of each other and not in conjunction. Therefore, they have limited synergistic effects when aimed at solving global issues. To examine this aspect, we conducted a systematic literature review and synthesised 97 articles to create a conceptual structuring of the topic. We identified the following categories: (a) evidence base for policymaking including timescale analysis, effective policymaking instruments as well as decision support and scenario planning; (b) policy responses including landscape and urban form, green and blue area ratio, albedo enhancement policies, transport modal split as well as public health and participation; (c) passive technologies including green building envelopes and development of cool surfaces; and (d) active technologies including sustainable transport as well as energy consumption, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and waste heat. Based on the findings, we present a framework to guide future research in analysing UHI policy and technology responses more effectively in conjunction with each other.

To access the article, click [LINK]

Value–Based Guiding Principles for Managing Cognitive Computing Systems in the Public Sector

Cognitive Computing Systems (CCSs) are increasing in prominence in the public sector. This paper develops a framework drawing on public value and information technology service management literature to guide the management of CCSs in the public sector. We draw on academic literature, gray literature, legislation and government reports, and examples on CCS initiatives in the public sector to develop insights for research and practice. We then outline the themes and present the insights in the form of guiding principles and specific (detailed) recommendations. These include guiding principles and recommendations for establishing legitimacy, understanding the required capabilities, executing capabilities, creating and measuring public value.

Journal: Public Performance & Management Review

Co-authors: Tendai MakasiAlireza Nili, and Mary Tate

To access the article, please click here.

Knowledge Cities World Summit 2019, Florianópolis, Brazil

Looking forward to my visit to Florianópolis, Brazil. I will deliver a masterclass on governance and innovation in smart cities as part of a Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) grant funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia at the KCWS2019: SUSTENTABILIDADE E INOVAÇÃO NA ERA DO CONHECIMENTO.