Lim, Hyunjung, & Jonghwan Eun (2018, December). Exploring perceptions of sustainable development in South Korea: An approach based on advocacy coalition framework’s belief system. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 4(4), art. 54. [Online, open access] (Link:

Abstract:The concept of sustainable development has been criticized for its broadness and ambiguity that permits different interpretations in separate views. However, the prior studies on sustainable development generally relied on survey data, so they have some limitations that preclude congruent conclusions. In contrast to prior studies, we used Q methodology, which is designed to investigate subjective perception as it is. This study aims to explore the South Koreans’ perceptions of sustainable development among various stakeholders such as experts, bureaucrats, legislatures, civic group members, company employees, and journalists. Based on the hierarchical belief system of the advocacy coalition framework, we classified all statements into three categories: core value, policy core, and secondary aspects. Using Q methodology, we extracted five types: (1) democrat; (2) idealist; (3) green growth advocate; (4) skeptics; and (5) elitist. We examined the distribution of the five types according to a hierarchical belief system, and discussed implications of the findings.

Hyunjung Lim <> is in the Research Center for National Leadership, Seoul National University, and Jonghwan Eun <> is in the Research Center for Behavioral Science, KH Corporation, Seoul, Korea.

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