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Efficacy Beliefs in Hong Kong and Macau Multi-owned Housing Governance
Simon Yau has been working on a project titled "Tripartite Efficacy Beliefs, Institutional Settings and Collectivism in Multi-owned Housing Governance in Hong Kong and Macau".

The ownership arrangement of multi-owned housing (MOH) necessitates collective actions of homeowners for proper governance of this type of housing (e.g. for housing maintenance and rights protection). Yet, given the collective-good nature of the outcomes of MOH governance, the classic collective-action dilemma suggests that rationality drives homeowners to free-ride on others’ efforts, and that no collective action will take place eventually. However, not all MOH developments are actually unmanaged. Some homeowners do actively participate in MOH governance, and it is worthwhile to examine why some participate whereas others do not. The research can help pointing at ways to facilitate collective actions in MOH governance, which is essential for the sustainable management of housing stock and nurturing of civil society.

While other scholars and investigators have identified a list of determinants of homeowner participation, little work has been done on the effects of perceived efficacies of governance proxies (e.g. property management companies and owners’ associations) and institutional settings on collective actions in MOH governance. To fill these gaps, this study aims to explore the impacts of proxy efficacy beliefs and institutional settings on homeowner participation in Hong Kong and Macau using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Given their similar social and cultural contexts but different institutional settings, these two cities are chosen for a meaningful comparison of the findings. To evaluate the effects of proxy efficacy beliefs, an analytical model built upon the widely-used collective interest model and supplemented by other profound social theories like normative conformity and social identity theories is developed. Quantities analyses are conducted the data obtained from structured household surveys. On the qualitative side, in-depth case studies through contextual analyses and interviews with various stakeholders involved in MOH governance are conducted. The information collected is analysed with the institutional analysis and development framework.

The study's findings show that the effects of efficacy beliefs, including perceived self, group and proxy efficacies, on participation behaviour are moderated by institutional design. This research will provide valuable insights into homeowner participation in MOH governance in Hong Kong and Macau. The findings will assist policy-makers to make more informed decisions on the governance of MOH. In addition, this study will propose recommendations for improvements in the structure of contemporary housing governance. It will also serve as a cornerstone for wider comparative research with other Asian cities where MOH is predominant such as Shanghai, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The project has received this year's GRF grant.

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