Strategizing nature in cross-sector partnerships: Can plantation revitalization enable living wages?

Iteke van Hille*, Frank G.A. de Bakker, Peter Groenewegen, Julie E. Ferguson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Strengthening sustainability in global supply chains requires producers, buyers, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in transformative cross-sector partnerships (CSPs). However, the role played by nature in such partnerships has been left largely unattended in literature on CSPs. This article shows how strategizing nature helps CSPs reach their transformative potential. Strategizing nature entails the progressive revealing and reconciling of temporal tensions between “plants, profits, and people.” We show how a CSP took a parallel approach—recognizing the divergent temporalities of plants, people, and profits as interlaced and mutually determined—toward realizing their objective of implementing living wages in a sub-Saharan African country’s the tea industry, simultaneously driven by the revitalization of tea plantations. The promise of better quality tea leaves allowed partners to take a “leap of faith” and to tackle pressing issues before the market would follow. Our findings thus show the potential of CSPs in driving regenerative organizing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-197
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization & Environment
Volume34
Issue number2
Early online date13 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6161-9523 van Hille Iteke 1 de Bakker Frank G. A. 2 Groenewegen Peter 1 Ferguson Julie E. 3 1 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2 IÉSEG School of Management & LEM-CNRS (UMR-9221), Lille, France 3 University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Iteke van Hille, Department of Organization Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, Amsterdam 1081HV, The Netherlands. Email: i.van.hille@vu.nl 11 2019 1086026619886848 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 SAGE Publications This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ ) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage ). Strengthening sustainability in global supply chains requires producers, buyers, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in transformative cross-sector partnerships (CSPs). However, the role played by nature in such partnerships has been left largely unattended in literature on CSPs. This article shows how strategizing nature helps CSPs reach their transformative potential. Strategizing nature entails the progressive revealing and reconciling of temporal tensions between “plants, profits, and people.” We show how a CSP took a parallel approach—recognizing the divergent temporalities of plants, people, and profits as interlaced and mutually determined—toward realizing their objective of implementing living wages in a sub-Saharan African country’s the tea industry, simultaneously driven by the revitalization of tea plantations. The promise of better quality tea leaves allowed partners to take a “leap of faith” and to tackle pressing issues before the market would follow. Our findings thus show the potential of CSPs in driving regenerative organizing. cross-sector partnerships regenerative organizing sustainability transformative change living wages Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003246 406-14-066 edited-state corrected-proof We are indebted to our respondents, in particular our host organization, for allowing us to join them on this unique living wage journey. Earlier versions of this article were presented at several conferences and workshops, including EGOS (2018) and the Cross-Sector Social Interactions (CSSI) Symposium (2018). We thank the participants for helpful comments. At the CSSI Symposium, we had the pleasure to connect with Oana Branzei on this Special Issue. We are very grateful to have worked with such a committed and enthusiastic team of Special Issue Editors: Sally Russell, Gail Whiteman, and particularly Pablo Muñoz and Oana Branzei, who patiently supported us in carving out our contribution to the emerging community of regenerative organizing. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work is part of a Research Talent programme, project number 406 14 066, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). ORCID iD Iteke van Hille https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6161-9523

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • cross-sector partnerships
  • regenerative organizing
  • sustainability
  • transformative change
  • living wages

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