Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Robin Saha

Commitee Members

Vicki Watson, Steve Schwarze


University of Montana


The Montana Department of Environmental Quality Asbestos Control Program reported in a 2002 study that it had determined that 99 percent of public building demolitions and renovations in Missoula were noncompliant with asbestos inspection regulations required by both Montana and federal law. The Program characterized noncompliance as an occupational and public health threat with multiple causations including willful noncompliance and ignorance of the law. Missoula is not alone in its noncompliance; Great Falls, MT, Boston, MA, Austin, TX and Livingston MT, and other cities have struggled to address noncompliance with asbestos inspections. My action based research project explores the role social marketing interventions can play in addressing regulatory noncompliance with asbestos inspections on a local level. Social marketing only differs from traditional marketing in that it seeks to promote behavior change in a target audience for the welfare of the targeted audience and society rather than sell a product. My target audience included city officials instead of the regulated community. My intervention spurred policy dialogue, brought noncompliance into the public spotlight, and led to the City of Missoula adopting an ordinance in February 2008 requiring proof of an inspection before issuance of public building permits. This action based research project suggests that social marketing interventions directed at decision makers can play a role in increasing regulatory compliance on a local level. Lessons learned from the social marketing campaign and criteria for social marketing campaign design are offered for use in other upstream interventions.



© Copyright 2009 Holly N. Truitt