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The hybridity of waste management: An in-depth exploratory case study from the Znojmo municipality

Michal Plaček, Vladislav Valentinov, Gabriela Vaceková, František Ochrana, Stanislav Čurda, Choirul Anam
Waste management 2021 v.126 pp. 433-442
accountability, case studies, governance, hybrids, politics, stakeholders, waste management, Czech Republic
In the Western hemisphere, the hybridity of public service delivery is widely acknowledged to generate governance challenges arising from the mutual contestation of the competing institutional logics, such as those of the public and the private for-profit sector. The present paper explores these challenges by means of an in-depth qualitative case study of the waste management service delivery in the municipality of Znojmo, Czech Republic. Encompassing structured interviews of stakeholders and desk research, the case study was aimed at understanding the strengths and weaknesses of waste management hybridity, as well as the impact of hybridity on the relationship between innovativeness and accountability. The overall finding is that the engagement of the private for-profit sector does make this service delivery more innovative, but the useful impact of innovativeness is maximized through a hybrid arrangement. The key benefit of the hybrid arrangement is the stable intersectoral partnership allowing comprehensive control of the waste management service delivery. This benefit possibly rests on the accountability of the hybrid arrangement running on political rather than purely economic lines. Another finding was that the profit maximizing imperative was felt to constrain potential innovation, an outcome that could be prevented by the engagement of the municipality. At the same time, the hybrid mode of waste management service delivery in Znojmo is by no means free of governance challenges, such as the occasional lack of transparency and communication difficulties and disagreements among stakeholders.