Stakeholder Approach to the Regional Sustainable Development: Empirical Study
Introduction of the concept of sustainable development (SD) led to the transformation of values and interests of key stakeholders: the government, population and business. Since consideration of regional stakeholder interests is crucial for ensuring SD of large countries like Russia, a methodology is needed to assess their fulfilment, balance and consistency. However, previous studies of regional sustain- able development have not yet proposed such a methodology. The present paper examined and classi- fied regional stakeholder interests and developed an indicator framework to evaluate their fulfilment. We proposed an algorithm for calculating 9 group and 7 integral indices which were subsequently used to measure the socio-economic-environmental balance and inter-stakeholder consistency of interests. The methodology was applied to 17 regions of the Volga and Ural Federal Districts of Russia. The research discovered that sustainable development in most regions was at a medium level. There was no signifi- cant difference in the fulfilment of interests among the different stakeholders, which can be interpreted as a factor strengthening social cohesion. Additionally, a socio-economic-environmental imbalance was revealed: the fulfilment of social interests was the highest and that of environmental interests was the lowest. Regression modelling has shown that the presence of this imbalance has a negative impact on SD of Russian regions. The proposed methodology may contribute to broaden the scope of analytical re- search in the field of sustainable development.