Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Progressing Sustainable Development In Saudi Arabia: The Role of the Public and Private Sectors
by Altowaijri, Reem Abdulaziz, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2016, 103; 10305689
Abstract (Summary)

After long periods of focusing on economic growth and markets’ expansions, the world has recognized the significant need for having a balanced and sustainable approach towards development, which ensures wellbeing for all. Despite the massive increase in the world’s fortune, global economic, social and environmental challenges continue to grow. Thus, the concept of sustainable development has become a fundamental tool towards a better and stabilized future. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, due to its particular challenges, is one of the major countries that urgently need to fasten and enhance its journey towards sustainable development. Sustainability considerations must exist in various industries and sectors within the country for ensuring wellbeing for present and future generations. In fact, Saudi Arabia has been taken various steps and implemented projects for achieving so; however, the current and potential challenges are enormous and require deeper collaborative efforts. This study aimed to explore and present major mechanisms that are based on a holistic approach and collaborative methods, for progressing the implementation of sustainable development’s projects and initiatives within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Based on analyzing literature in the field of sustainable development and its success factors as well as examining certain local specificities of Saudi Arabia, certain recommendations were provided. A primer outcome was that sustainable development has to be approached in a holistic way, which integrates its three pillars society, economy and environment and ensures the participation of various stakeholders in the society to reach broad effective results. A key success factor for SD rests in having a flexible and dynamic governance system. For the case of Saudi, several barriers within public institutions and their policies such as, bureaucratic procedures and a certain extent of corruption obstructed the accomplishment of various SD projects. Thus, such obstacles need to be removed to facilitate the achievement of SD’s targets. Furthermore, as a fundamental part of the holistic approach, the civil society holds a crucial role in achieving SD. Individual behavior and practices contribute to success or failure of SD initiatives. Therefore, Saudi Arabia has to motivate and enable its citizens of being a fundamental part of accomplishing SD, which could be done through using Islamic religious teachings of sustainability. The private sector holds as well a critical role in solving various development challenges in a sustainable way. Saudi corporations need to adopt sustainability organizational cultures that encourage employees to participate voluntarily in sustainability initiatives. Public and private partnerships are also essential and beneficial for implementing various SD’s projects. Moreover, and especially due to the high percentage of youth in the kingdom, entrepreneurs’ capacities need to be fostered and empowered, by both public and private sectors, for creating new markets and business solutions for development’s challenges. Such mechanisms would be able, when conducted properly, to change many of the kingdom’s challenges into opportunities. However, the existence of an enabling environment is fundamental to the success of these mechanisms.

Further Researches. This study is only an introduction to certain holistic and collaborative methods that can progress and strengthen sustainable development’s achievement. Further studies must be conducted among the key stakeholders, government, businesses, entrepreneurs and civilians that are a fundamental part of the accomplishment and success of SD’s initiatives and targets. Since this study was based on literature review, future studies have to include qualitative methods, surveys, focus groups, dialogue and so on to examine each party’s visions, demands and suggestions closely. This enables conducting studies that could precisely offer strategies and plans for approaching SD holistically. Moreover, conducting quantitative studies that examine the civil society’s habits and how they affect sustainability would be very useful in addressing national issues and how to solve them.

Keywords: sustainability, development, holistic approach, sustainable business, culture, collaboration, Saudi Arabia

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Earhart, Robert
Commitee: Ward, James Noel
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Cross-Cultural and Sustainable Business Management
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Environmental economics, Middle Eastern Studies, Public administration, Sustainability
Keywords: Collaboration, Private sector, Public sector, Saudi Arabia, Sustainable development
Publication Number: 10305689
ISBN: 9781369492538
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