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

Abstract : Purpose – 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/approach – The 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. Findings – It highlights three main key research themes and learnings from the special issue papers: 1) a high level of ‘hybridity’ of collaboration forms, which involve important tensions; 2) a need to understand partnership in its context; 3) the importance of the individual level in cross-sector collaboration. Practical implications – The 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 implications – The 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. We suggest some avenues for further research to move the discussion beyond the partnership imperative. Originality/value – The paper outlines the need to critically revisit the very essence of what real partnership means and whether dialogue is really taking place.
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Journal articles
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Contributor : Céline Louche <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 12:20:01 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 5, 2021 - 1:12:27 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, August 26, 2021 - 7:15:28 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03231763, version 1



Céline Louche, Suzanne Young, Martin Fougère. Cross-sector dialogue for sustainability: To partner or not to partner?. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Emerald, inPress. ⟨hal-03231763⟩



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