Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Higher education institutions, PRME and partnerships for the goals: retrofit labeling or driving force for change?

Higher education institutions, PRME and partnerships for the goals: retrofit labeling or driving... This paper aims to propose a framework to map partnerships as practiced in higher education institutions (HEIs) and trace the current mode of engagement between HEIs and their partners. This paper reflects on the alignment between current practices and what is understood in the literature as “true” partnerships. We are interested in the different modes of engagement that are labeled by the HEIs as partnerships and consider the plasticity of the term. The interest is in how the term is operationalized by HEIs and how variations in approach can be accounted for while still maintaining some stability and common understanding of the term partnership.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on extant literature in the field of cross-sector partnerships, a three-dimensional framework is proposed to map partnerships as practiced in HEIs. Furthermore, this paper draws on insights gained from the partnership stories of 13 leading principles of responsible management education (PRME) signatories to evidence examples of how this framework can help us to categorize the different types of engagement that the HEIs call partnerships. These case stories were gathered in the fall of 2019, based on a brief inquiry form sent to the 39 PRME signatories who were part of the PRME Champions Cycle 2018–2019.FindingsThis paper sees cases where faculty drive interaction on sustainable development goal-related issues with external stakeholders, but where the impact of these interactions seems to reside within the main business of the HEI (teaching and research). In contrast, much partnering work addresses broader social impacts. Of particular, interest in partnerships that seek to address a specific local issue, first and foremost and doing so in such a way as to apply the unique resources of the HEI working in multi-stakeholder networks. This paper also notes important variation between individual faculty-driven initiatives and initiatives where the school provides a strategic framework to support these efforts.Research limitations/implicationsBy focusing on the academic sector and its stakeholder partnerships, this paper contributes to the literature on cross-sector partnerships. In particular, the specifics of this context and the importance of, for example, academic freedom have been under-researched in this field. Furthermore, the framework presented is novel in that it helps us to grasp the nuances of external university partnerships that can form out of individual, programmatic and other institutional levels.Practical implicationsFrom a practice perspective, the framework offers a useable tool for HEI partnership managers to position themselves and their activities and reflect more on how they organize external partnerships. Further, this tool offers a more precise framework for the discussion on partnerships within the PRME to sharpen the partnership instrument and bring more clarity about what is meant by the partnership for the goals.Originality/valueThe paper offers a novel partnership portfolio framework that contributes both to theory and practice. The framework aids in mapping the locus of benefits/outcomes and the material and affective commitments made by the HEI to bring these collaborations about. In dimensionalizing partnerships in this way, this paper can conceptualize a balanced portfolio in an HEI’s partnerships for the goals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Higher education institutions, PRME and partnerships for the goals: retrofit labeling or driving force for change?

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/higher-education-institutions-prme-and-partnerships-for-the-goals-FY2j92et1I
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-03-2020-0069
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to propose a framework to map partnerships as practiced in higher education institutions (HEIs) and trace the current mode of engagement between HEIs and their partners. This paper reflects on the alignment between current practices and what is understood in the literature as “true” partnerships. We are interested in the different modes of engagement that are labeled by the HEIs as partnerships and consider the plasticity of the term. The interest is in how the term is operationalized by HEIs and how variations in approach can be accounted for while still maintaining some stability and common understanding of the term partnership.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on extant literature in the field of cross-sector partnerships, a three-dimensional framework is proposed to map partnerships as practiced in HEIs. Furthermore, this paper draws on insights gained from the partnership stories of 13 leading principles of responsible management education (PRME) signatories to evidence examples of how this framework can help us to categorize the different types of engagement that the HEIs call partnerships. These case stories were gathered in the fall of 2019, based on a brief inquiry form sent to the 39 PRME signatories who were part of the PRME Champions Cycle 2018–2019.FindingsThis paper sees cases where faculty drive interaction on sustainable development goal-related issues with external stakeholders, but where the impact of these interactions seems to reside within the main business of the HEI (teaching and research). In contrast, much partnering work addresses broader social impacts. Of particular, interest in partnerships that seek to address a specific local issue, first and foremost and doing so in such a way as to apply the unique resources of the HEI working in multi-stakeholder networks. This paper also notes important variation between individual faculty-driven initiatives and initiatives where the school provides a strategic framework to support these efforts.Research limitations/implicationsBy focusing on the academic sector and its stakeholder partnerships, this paper contributes to the literature on cross-sector partnerships. In particular, the specifics of this context and the importance of, for example, academic freedom have been under-researched in this field. Furthermore, the framework presented is novel in that it helps us to grasp the nuances of external university partnerships that can form out of individual, programmatic and other institutional levels.Practical implicationsFrom a practice perspective, the framework offers a useable tool for HEI partnership managers to position themselves and their activities and reflect more on how they organize external partnerships. Further, this tool offers a more precise framework for the discussion on partnerships within the PRME to sharpen the partnership instrument and bring more clarity about what is meant by the partnership for the goals.Originality/valueThe paper offers a novel partnership portfolio framework that contributes both to theory and practice. The framework aids in mapping the locus of benefits/outcomes and the material and affective commitments made by the HEI to bring these collaborations about. In dimensionalizing partnerships in this way, this paper can conceptualize a balanced portfolio in an HEI’s partnerships for the goals.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 7, 2021

Keywords: PRME; Sustainable development goals; Cross-sector partnerships

References