Relational Space: Creating a Context for Innovation in Collaborative Consortia
Author(s)Bradbury-Huang, Hilary; Lichtenstein, Benyamin; Carroll, John Stephen; Senge, Peter M.
Relational Space and Learning Experiments: The Heart of Sustainability Collaborations
MetadataShow full item record
Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders. Multi-organizational consortia have formed, not as philanthropic efforts, but to find competitive advantage. To examine the dynamics of an early collaboration of this sort, with a view to suggesting how future inter-organizational projects might be fostered, we pursued an in-depth multi-method case study of “The Sustainability Consortium.” The Consortium has convened Fortune 50 senior managers since 1998. Our analysis uncovers the primacy of “Relational Space” – a rich context for aspirational trust and reflective learning across organizational boundaries, which is enabled by, and in turn gives rise to, collaborative projects. Within this space, an ecology of organizational leaders committed to sustainability can accomplish together what would be impossible in their individual organizations. We explain the viability of this collaboration.
DepartmentSloan School of Management
Research in Organizational Change and Development
Emerald Group Pub.
Hilary Bradbury-Huang, Benyamin Lichtenstein, John S. Carroll, Peter M. Senge. (2010) "Relational Space and Learning Experiments: The Heart of Sustainability Collaborations" in William A. Pasmore, Abraham B. (Rami) Shani, Richard W. Woodman (ed.) 18 (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Volume 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.109-148.
Author's final manuscript