An investigation into the complexity of organizational problems and consensual deliberation in collaborative planning
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Consensus building and other forms of collaborative planning are increasingly used for identifying, negotiating and resolving social and political fragmentation, shared power and conflicting values. Consensus strives toward cooperation and win-win solutions versus competitive exchange, often seen in litigious models of decision-making where a judgment is made and a win-lose solution is proposed. In this paper, I investigate the complexity of organizational problems in relation to collaborative planning and assess the utility of consensual process through literary reviews. I examine various issues related to collaborative planning and note outcomes that may effect collaborative efforts. While exploring problems related to cultural organizations, Kelly Barsdate (2001) found, “Immediate hurdles to be overcome include the need for increased communication among the managers of the respective cultural agencies and the need for increased organizational capacity statewide” (p. 4). With this in mind, I pay special attention to innovations that may lead to increased communication among managers of respective cultural/environmental agencies and the processes of consensus in diverse groups. Issues in relation to diverse stakeholders and public participation, minority views, conflict resolution and third party facilitation will be noted. Finally, I offer suggestions for further research as related to collaborative planning and decision-making.