Journal article

When Do Normative Standards Matter Most? Understanding the Role of Norm Strength at Multiple National Park Settings


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Publication Details

Author list: Laven, Daniel

Publication year: 2008

Start page: 127

End page: 142

Number of pages: 16

ISSN: 0149-0400


Research has demonstrated variation in the prevalence, importance, and stability of normative standards across different settings and activities. None of these studies, however, has directly used the concept of norm strength to help explain this variation. This study used norm strength to explore variation in normative standards at 52 locations in 13 U.S. national parks. The analysis measured and supported five dimensions of norm strength: intensity, consensus, certainty, preference consistency, and management consistency. No significant correlations were found between the five indicators indicating conceptually distinct dimensions of the norm strength concept. The findings support the notion that normative standards matter more at some places and the norm strength concept can help managers better understand these differences.


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