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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Emilio Marti, Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich and Christopher Wickert

Societal grand challenges have moved from a marginal concern to a mainstream issue within organization and management theory. How diverse forms of organizing help tackle â€

Abstract

Societal grand challenges have moved from a marginal concern to a mainstream issue within organization and management theory. How diverse forms of organizing help tackle – or reinforce – grand challenges has become centrally important. In this introductory paper, we take stock of the contributions to the volume on Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges and identify three characteristics of grand challenges that require further scholarly attention: their interconnectedness, fluidity, and paradoxical nature. We also emphasize the need to expand our methodological repertoire and reflect upon our practices as a scholarly community.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Iben Sandal Stjerne, Matthias Wenzel and Silviya Svejenova

Organization and management scholars are increasingly interested in understanding how “fluid” forms of organizing contribute to the tackling of grand challenges. These

Abstract

Organization and management scholars are increasingly interested in understanding how “fluid” forms of organizing contribute to the tackling of grand challenges. These forms are fluid in that they bring together a dynamic range of actors with diverse purposes, expertise, and interests in a temporary and nonbinding way. Fluid forms of organizing enable flexible participation. Yet, they struggle to gain and sustain commitment. In this case study of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub, which supports the achievement of zero hunger by 2030, we explore how the temporality of narratives contributes to actors’ commitment to tackling grand challenges in fluid forms of organizing. In our analysis, we identify three types of narratives – universal, situated, and bridging – and discern their different temporal horizons and temporal directions. In doing so, our study sheds light on the contributions by the temporality of narratives to fostering commitment to tackling grand challenges in fluid forms of organizing. It suggests the importance of considering “multitemporality,” i.e., the plurality of connected temporalities, rather than foregrounding either the present or the future.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Marian Konstantin Gatzweiler, Corinna Frey-Heger and Matteo Ronzani

In this article, we explore some of the barriers that prevent learning about grand challenges. By grand challenges, we refer to transformational social and environmental

Abstract

In this article, we explore some of the barriers that prevent learning about grand challenges. By grand challenges, we refer to transformational social and environmental issues and the critical barriers toward addressing them. Despite recent research contributions, initiatives, and calls for action to focus on such concerns, relatively little is known about the different barriers that hinder learning about grand challenges. To explore these issues, we draw from Rayner’s (2012) concept of uncomfortable knowledge, defined as knowledge that is disagreeable to organizations because it may challenge their value base, self-perception, organizing principles, or sources of legitimacy. Focusing on the example of recent programmatic attempts to advance “responsible education” in business schools, we identify three barriers to learning about grand challenges: Cognitive overload, emotional detachment, and organizational obliviousness. We conclude by outlining several implications on how to overcome these barriers, adding to recent academic and policy debates on how to make business school education more attuned to the transformational and social challenges of our time.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Jennifer Howard-Grenville and Jonas Spengler

Research on grand challenges in the management literature is vibrant and growing. Given that the term “grand challenges” was first invoked in our field 10 years ago, it is

Abstract

Research on grand challenges in the management literature is vibrant and growing. Given that the term “grand challenges” was first invoked in our field 10 years ago, it is timely to reflect on how we came to this point – and where we might go from here. In this article, we first explore the origins of the concept of grand challenges in order to trace core assumptions and developments and understand how they shape the current conversation about grand challenges in management scholarship. We next convey findings from our review of 161 papers that cite the editorial for a grand challenges special issue (George, Howard-Grenville, Joshi, & Tihanyi, 2016), uncovering four ways in which papers are shaping the conversation on grand challenges. Finally, based on our perspective on how we got here and where we are now, we make several suggestions for what should come next in driving forward research on grand challenges. We urge scholars to go beyond the study of collaboration for tackling grand challenges and shift toward a more critical, yet generative, exploration of their construction, persistence, and unintended consequences. We also call for increased attention to theorizing grand challenges to guide practitioners’ understanding of the nature of the thing they are trying to address. In these ways, we hope to inspire management scholars to leverage expertise on processes – not content per se – that shape how grand challenges manifest and how they may be tackled.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Martin Rhisiart

The paper seeks to discuss how foresight is used to understand the implications of global changes for research and innovation policies. It aims to present a recent Irish

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to discuss how foresight is used to understand the implications of global changes for research and innovation policies. It aims to present a recent Irish case study that identified grand challenges in the national context, with their implications for research and innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The foresight project is described and provides knowledge and analysis for a broader, national research prioritisation exercise. The paper analyses the implementation of the Irish foresight exercise and the main outputs generated. It connects the results of the project with the literature on foresight, innovation and grand challenges.

Findings

The emergence of grand challenges within research and innovation policy discourse in Europe has refreshed key questions for foresight theory and practice. Although many grand challenges have relatively clear implications for research and innovation (investment), others do not. A bottom‐up, participatory process produced a broader set of grand challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The concept of grand challenges is still relatively new.

Practical implications

Not all research and innovation priorities are linked to grand challenges. National policies need to take account of grand challenges whilst continuing to support other research and innovation needs.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a novel approach for identifying grand challenges and responses within the research and innovation system through a bottom‐up process.

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Dennis Schoeneborn, Consuelo Vásquez and Joep P. Cornelissen

This paper adds to the literature on societal grand challenges by shifting the focus away from business firms and other formal organizations as key actors in addressing

Abstract

This paper adds to the literature on societal grand challenges by shifting the focus away from business firms and other formal organizations as key actors in addressing such challenges toward the inherent organizing capacity that lies in the use of language itself. More specifically, we focus on the organizing capacities of metaphor-based communication, seeking to ascertain which qualities of metaphors enable them to co-orient collective action toward tackling grand challenges. In addressing this question, we develop an analytical framework based on two qualities of metaphorical communication that can provide such co-orientation: a metaphor’s (a) vividness and (b) responsible actionability. We illustrate the usefulness of this framework by assessing selected metaphors used in the public discourse to make sense of and organize collective responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the flu metaphor/analogy, the war metaphor, and the combined metaphor of “the hammer and the dance.” Our paper contributes to extant research by providing a means to assess the co-orienting potential of metaphors in bridging varied interpretations. In so doing, our framework can pave the way toward more responsible use of metaphorical communication in tackling society’s grand challenges.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Héloïse Berkowitz and Michael Grothe-Hammer

Meta-organizations are crucial devices to tackle grand challenges. Yet, by bringing together different organizations, with potentially diverging views on these grand

Abstract

Meta-organizations are crucial devices to tackle grand challenges. Yet, by bringing together different organizations, with potentially diverging views on these grand challenges, meta-organizations need to cope with the emergence of contradictory underlying social orders. Do contradictory orders affect meta-organizations’ ability to govern grand challenges and if so, how? This paper investigates these essential questions by focusing on the evolution and intermeshing of social orders within international governance meta-organizations. Focusing on the International Whaling Commission and the grand challenge of whale conservation, we show how over time incompatible social orders between the meta-organization and its members emerge, evolve and clash. As our study shows, this clash of social orders ultimately removes the “decidability” of certain social orders at the meta-organizational level. We define decidability as the possibility for actors to reach collective decisions about changing an existing social order that falls under a collective’s mandate. We argue that maintaining decidability is a key condition for grand challenges’ governance success while the emergence of “non-decidability” of controversial social orders can lead to substantial failure. We contribute to both the emerging literature on grand challenges and organization theory.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Joel Gehman, Dror Etzion and Fabrizio Ferraro

Although management scholars have embraced grand challenges research, in many cases, grand challenges have been treated as merely a context for exploring extant

Abstract

Although management scholars have embraced grand challenges research, in many cases, grand challenges have been treated as merely a context for exploring extant theoretical perspectives. By comparison, our approach – robust action – provides a novel theoretical framework for tackling grand challenges. In this invited article, we revisit our 2015 model, clarifying and elaborating its key elements and taking stock of subsequent developments. We then identify three promising directions for future research: scaffolding, future imaginaries, and distributed actorhood. Ultimately, our core message is remarkably simple: robust action strategies – participatory architecture, multivocal inscription and distributed experimentation – jointly provide a means for tackling grand challenges that is well matched to their complexities, uncertainties, and evaluativities.

Details

Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-829-1

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Arne Kroeger, Nicole Siebold, Franziska Günzel-Jensen, Fouad Philippe Saade and Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä

In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of how entrepreneurs can deploy their values to enable joint action of heterogeneous stakeholders. Such an understanding

Abstract

In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of how entrepreneurs can deploy their values to enable joint action of heterogeneous stakeholders. Such an understanding forms a critical endeavor to tackle grand challenges adequately. Building on sensegiving research, we conducted a single-case study of an entrepreneurial initiative that tackles gender inequality in Lebanon which has been successful in mobilizing heterogeneous stakeholders who ordinarily would not collaborate with each other. We find that the values of the founders were pivotal for the initiative’s success as those values activated latent values of stakeholders through processes of contextualization and enactment. We subsume these processes under the label value-driven sensegiving. As a result of value-driven sensegiving, heterogeneous stakeholders could make sense of the founders’ aspirational vision and the role they could play in it, which paved ways for tackling grand challenges collaboratively. Our study provides insights into the centrality of values for mobilizing heterogeneous stakeholders across boundaries. Therefore, it contributes to the body of work on sensegiving, societal grand challenges, and new forms of organizing.

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Anil Sawhney, Raghav Agnihotri and Virendra Kumar Paul

Today, construction sector of most emerging economies, including India, is witnessing sharp growth prospects on the one hand and pressure to effectively and efficiently…

1941

Abstract

Purpose

Today, construction sector of most emerging economies, including India, is witnessing sharp growth prospects on the one hand and pressure to effectively and efficiently contribute to the national development on the other. The Indian construction industry is one of the major stimulants of the economic and social growth of the nation. However, the sector is confronted by numerous issues, thereby reducing its efficacy and unhindered growth prospects. The purpose of this paper is to extract various industry impediments and suggest a prioritized listing of challenges faced by the industry using the Grand Challenges Approach (GCA).

Design/methodology/approach

Motivated by the GCA this study uses the Delphi process for consensus building in the expert panel, comprising of 39 professionals from across various industry stakeholders. A qualitative round was first used to acquire views on the challenges. Consequently two quantitative Delphi rounds were conducted to extract Top-10 Challenges for the industry based on two aspects – priority and impact. A wider industry survey was also carried out, which served as an unscientific validation of the Delphi Study.

Findings

Grand Challenges facing the Indian construction sector were identified. Addressing these challenges at the national level has the potential of transforming the industry to highly efficient, quality cantered and bullish industry capable of delivering successfully.

Originality/value

The GCA, used extensively by the health sector internationally, is used for the Indian construction industry in a novel way to set an agenda for enhancing its operational efficiency.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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