Funding for research on sustainability in rural areas2022-04-14
Christina Öberg, Professor of Business Administration at Karlstad Business School, has been granted research funding for an interview study on the issues related to the distribution of environmental effects.
– Our rural areas has a purpose, while society at large has an environmental objective, says Christina Öberg. The problem is that these two do not go together well. In my research project “Is a sustainable countryside sustainable?” I will focus on how this affects businesses in rural areas.
The research project will last for two years and will primarily be based on interviews. Even though Christina Öberg is the only researcher working with the project, she will cooperate with other people when needed.
– The focus of the project is to interview representatives for businesses in rural areas. In order to fit my study, these businesses need to transport their products between rural and urban areas. In other words, they can’t grow and sell their produce locally. There needs to be an exchange between urban and rural areas.
Inspired by previous study
Christina Öberg has conducted a smaller case study on the issues facing a rural company that has its customers in the Stockholm region. That project showed a discrepancy between inbound and outgoing transports to Norrland and the taxation of carbon dioxide emissions. This inspired her to take this subject further and fill in more research gaps.
– When we conduct research on sustainability, we often compare financial and environmental consideration, or social and financial. There are often discussions about the three dimensions of sustainability, and the tensions between them. When it comes to sustainability related to rural and urban areas, most studies have emphasised that rural businesses often has to handle the environmental problems, since harmful production is placed in rural areas. These studies are often conducted in emerging countries.
These are not the issues I will focus on in this project, and I think that the most obvious contribution is that it will broaden the discussion of the consequences of different objectives. The theoretical part is largely about research on tensions related to different kinds of objectives, but also between what businesses want compared to what society wants. There is also a lot of politics involved in these issues. Currently, environmental considerations are important so perhaps other objectives will have to make way for those.
Christina Öberg’s project “Is a sustainable countryside sustainable?” has been granted 1.600.000 SEK from the Kamprad Family Foundation. The project will start in August of 2022.