Adaptive Responsibilities: Nonlinear Interactions in Cross Sector Partnerships



In this seminar a paper will be discussed. This paper presents an instance of failed large scale social innovation from a cross sector social partnership even though the partnership seemed to succeed in its narrow mission. The mechanisms that led to less than complete success can shed light on the reasons behind the failure of social change mechanisms. The case study presented is between a non-profit organization and a business. It demonstrates that when the strategic intent of the social actors is prescriptive, it imprisons the possibilities for fundamental change. This limitation is due to the pre-defined relatively narrow responsibilities associated with different individual or social agents. The paper is calling to move beyond reactive and proactive responsibilities and to shift towards accepting adaptive responsibilities that require a multidimensional understanding towards all three levels of analysis, micro, meso and macro. Adaptive responsibilities are an empowering approach based on the coevolution of organizational actors. It holds the seeds of reciprocal multi-level change.
Reading material: Seitanidi, M.M. (2008) “Adaptive Responsibilities: Nonlinear Interactions in Cross Sector Partnerships”, Emergence: Complexity & Organization, 10(3): 51-64
Biography: Maria May Seitanidi is an Senior Lecturer in CSR for Hull University Business
School, Hull, UK. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR) of the Nottingham University Business School. She is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, and the Journal of Business Ethics. In 2010 she has published a book on Social Partnerships under the title: The
Politics of Partnerships (Springer). May is the founder of a network of 290 professionals specialising on Partnerships from all around the world. A yahoo group is currently set to encourage exchange of information and sharing of experiences among the members
In 2007 she organised the 1st international symposium on "The Future Challenges of Cross Sector Interactions: Interactions between Nonprofit and Business as Complex Evolving Systems" together with the LSE Complexity Group. In 2010 she organised the 2nd International Symposium on Cross Sector Social Interactions on "Re-Imagining Partnerships for the Global Social Good".
For more information on May's work please visit:
Contact information:
Andrea da Rosa