Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Emison, Gerald

Committee Member

Stich, Bethany

Committee Member

Breaux, David

Committee Member

Stanisevski, Dragan

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy & Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science


This research, by utilizing the descriptive aspect of the communicative planning model, examined the opinions of surveyed public planners to understand their perceptions concerning their roles in the implementation of comprehensive plans. The research developed a Q-methodology design to uncover a typology of opinion concerned the perceived roles played by participants throughout the planning process in counties within the state of Georgia. The research contributes to the literature by developing this typology and by using it to assess the opinions of public planners. Through the use of Q-methodology, the research analyzed 34 usable Q-sorts from Georgia planners. Based on analysis of these sorts, four distinct types of opinion were found. The planning participants appear to be communicating opinions that represent the following: mostly positive roles on structural issues, such as budgeting, coordinating, and plan complexity; two roles that are positive of public participation; and two roles that are negative of public participation and focused on economic development. The research‘s typology shows that the planning participants view planning in two dimensions: political (opinion concerning the public) and functional (opinion concerning what leads to successful planning).



opinions of public planners||local comprehensive planning||community development