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Cross-sector dialogue for sustainability: to partner or not to partner?

Cross-sector dialogue for sustainability: to partner or not to partner? The purpose of this paper is to introduce the topic and review the contributions of the special issue papers on cross-sector dialogue for sustainability. The paper also presents avenues for further research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a review of the current literature on cross-sector partnership and dialogue. It explores the current issues in cross-sector partnerships through a discussion of the papers accepted for the special issue, their focus, findings and key contributions.FindingsIt highlights three main key research themes and learnings from the special issue papers: a high level of “hybridity” of collaboration forms, which involve important tensions; a need to understand partnership in its context and the importance of the individual level in cross-sector collaboration.Practical implicationsThe authors call for attention to be paid to two forms of myopia: a tendency to view partnerships primarily from a resource-based view (without much attempt to measure societal impact) and a reluctance to be explicitly critical (despite empirical evidence of some suboptimal aspects of partnerships).Social implicationsThe authors call for researchers to move away from a resource-based approach to one that is situated in exploring the value derived from partnerships in the broader societal context. The authors suggest some avenues for further research to move the discussion beyond the partnership imperative.Originality/valueThe paper outlines the need to critically revisit the very essence of what real partnership means and whether dialogue is really taking place. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Cross-sector dialogue for sustainability: to partner or not to partner?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-02-2021-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the topic and review the contributions of the special issue papers on cross-sector dialogue for sustainability. The paper also presents avenues for further research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a review of the current literature on cross-sector partnership and dialogue. It explores the current issues in cross-sector partnerships through a discussion of the papers accepted for the special issue, their focus, findings and key contributions.FindingsIt highlights three main key research themes and learnings from the special issue papers: a high level of “hybridity” of collaboration forms, which involve important tensions; a need to understand partnership in its context and the importance of the individual level in cross-sector collaboration.Practical implicationsThe authors call for attention to be paid to two forms of myopia: a tendency to view partnerships primarily from a resource-based view (without much attempt to measure societal impact) and a reluctance to be explicitly critical (despite empirical evidence of some suboptimal aspects of partnerships).Social implicationsThe authors call for researchers to move away from a resource-based approach to one that is situated in exploring the value derived from partnerships in the broader societal context. The authors suggest some avenues for further research to move the discussion beyond the partnership imperative.Originality/valueThe paper outlines the need to critically revisit the very essence of what real partnership means and whether dialogue is really taking place.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 7, 2021

Keywords: Sustainability; CSR; Dialogue; Cross-sector partnership

References