Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Robert Sharpe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The purpose of this study is to further our understanding of the obstacles and catalysts to the local economic development (LED) process. The central issues under examination deal with multi-community and multi-organization integration at the subregional level. These issues are explored though a case study of West Parry Sound Area (WPSA). The difficulties associated with integration and the differences among member municipalities and organizations were evaluated in two ways. First, the agencies involved in the WSPA LED process were examined to assess the organizational structure resulting from overlapping objectives and representatives. Second, the attitudes of key actors within these agencies were measured to identify any differences in their perceptions of LED goals and methods. The major agencies associated with LED and WPSA were identified, along with their board/committee members and mandates/purposes (circa July, 1992). A complex structure was found among the 31 WPSA LED agencies that were identified. Problems of integration among the organizations were assessed by measuring and comparing the attitudes and perceptions of the key members of these organizations. To investigate attitudes and perceptions a survey questionnaire was designed and administered to 80 key LED participants in November and December 1992. Discordant attitudes towards LED goals and methods were evident among the 54 LED participants who responded. These attitudinal differences, however could not be attributed to the differences in the socio economic characteristics, agency affiliations, or municipal representation of the respondents. Instead, discordant attitudes and perceptions were found to be attributed to stake of the respondents in the LED process. The following major stakeholder groups were identified: municipal representatives, business people, government officials, coordinators/administrators of LED agencies, and community members at large. The results from this study will allow decision makers to identify some of the social, economic, cultural and political divisions of stakeholder groups in the WPSA LED.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season