MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Joseph Lyons

Geographical Areas

Wellington County, City of Guelph, Essex County, City of Windsor, Waterloo Region, City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo


To determine if there is a correlation between the organizational structure of economic development agencies and whether these structures facilitate or hinder the success of development policies. To determine what factors other than the organizational structures of economic development agencies facilitate or hinder the success of economic development policies. Methods Used: In this paper a review of the literature in municipal economic development was completed. Three case studies of economic development strategies for midsized urban areas in Southwestern Ontario were completed. The success of each urban areas economic development strategies was evaluated. The structure of each regions economic development agencies was determined. In addition, the economic development strategies of each urban area were evaluated for focus, coordination, and alignment with the three waves of economic development policies. Findings: Ultimately, the organizational structure of an economic development agency did not seem to correlate with its success. The Region of Waterloo and the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington have different organizational structures but are both successful at supporting the implementation of development policies. The regions that were most successful incorporated all three waves of economic development policies. Their development plans were well focused, and the roles and responsibilities of all major stakeholders were coordinated. It was best if this coordination was organized through a single agency