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Designing and implementing effective campus sustainability in Saudi Arabian universities: an assessment of drivers and barriers in a rational choice theoretical context

Alsharif, M. A., Peters, M. D. and Dixon, T. J. (2020) Designing and implementing effective campus sustainability in Saudi Arabian universities: an assessment of drivers and barriers in a rational choice theoretical context. Sustainability, 12 (12). 5096. ISSN 2071-1050

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/su12125096

Abstract/Summary

Saudi Arabia is a developing country that is experiencing a rapid growth in its population and level of urbanisation. Higher education (HE) in the country has developed rapidly over the last ten years, and it is still moving through numerous major reforms. Largely, the concept of sustainability has not yet been formally adopted in public institutions in a way that could sufficiently remedy the range of activities that currently impact negatively on the environment. The central aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which planning and action for sustainability is currently being taken on university campuses in Saudi Arabia, and to review the opportunities and challenges for encouraging and enabling further progress to this end. The research that the paper draws on specifically investigated the influence of decision makers’ personal knowledge and perceptions within Facilities and Project Management (FPM) departments at selected Saudi universities, and the constraints faced by FPM decision makers with regard to the promotion of sustainability on campus. This exploration was supported by the development of a theoretical framework that draws on rational choice theory (RCT). The research revealed mixed levels of prevailing knowledge and awareness towards sustainability among FPM decision makers within the case study university campuses. Cost notably came across as a dominant influence on FPM decision makers’ choices and decisions, and it undoubtedly plays an important role in shaping the decision-making process alongside other key organisational factors. A number of barriers facing the incorporation of sustainability emerged with clarity, such as the lack of supportive leadership, the lack of sustainability knowledge and awareness among senior management and an absence of sustainability-related legislation policy or strategic direction in the HEIs concerned.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
ID Code:91407
Publisher:MPDI

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