Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization

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Abstract

In the collective scholarly effort to explore the micro-foundations of hybridity and the question of “how hybrid models of organising can be sustained” (Pache & Santos 2013), the material aspect of organizations (the physical and virtual spaces) remains underexplored (Jones et al. 2013, 2017). This article seeks to demonstrate why and how the material aspect of cross-sector organizations needs more attention and how such attention will assist scholars and practitioners in detecting undeveloped potentials or dysfunctional elements of cross-sector organizations. After making the case for a more pronounced material sensitivity in third sector research, I lay out a composite conceptual framework, that integrate a material sensitivity into the institutional logics perspective. Next, based on empirical evidence from a long-term ethnographic study of a multi-sided cross-sector organization that provide virtual tutoring, I show how the material and formal aspects of the organizational context, in interdependence with the interactions of the volunteers sustained the blending (Skelcher & Smith 2015) of two logics: the bureaucratic and entrepreneurial logic, into what I call New Civic Management (NCM). Furthermore, I show how the “civic logic”, that the management tried to cultivate top down (Eliasoph 2009) was blocked (Skelcher & Smith 2015) as an unintended consequence of the way digital technology was implemented in the bureaucratically structured and entrepreneurial organization. Finally, across these observations I propose the term “volunteering on demand” to describe the form of organising and practicing volunteering in a digitalised, entrepreneurial, cross-sector organization.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Apr 2018
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018
EventRethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
- Harvard Kennedy School , Boston, United States
Duration: 5 Apr 20187 Apr 2018
http://sici.hks.harvard.edu/research/rethinking-cross-sector-social-innovation/

Conference

ConferenceRethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
LocationHarvard Kennedy School
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period05/04/201807/04/2018
Internet address

Fingerprint

organization
management
interdependence
demand
interaction
evidence

Keywords

  • Hybrid organizations
  • digitalisation
  • materiality
  • ethnography
  • third sector organizations

Cite this

Grubb, A. (2018). Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization. Paper presented at Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, United States.
Grubb, Ane. / Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization. Paper presented at Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, United States.29 p.
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Grubb, A 2018, 'Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization' Paper presented at Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, United States, 05/04/2018 - 07/04/2018, .

Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization. / Grubb, Ane.

2018. Paper presented at Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

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AB - In the collective scholarly effort to explore the micro-foundations of hybridity and the question of “how hybrid models of organising can be sustained” (Pache & Santos 2013), the material aspect of organizations (the physical and virtual spaces) remains underexplored (Jones et al. 2013, 2017). This article seeks to demonstrate why and how the material aspect of cross-sector organizations needs more attention and how such attention will assist scholars and practitioners in detecting undeveloped potentials or dysfunctional elements of cross-sector organizations. After making the case for a more pronounced material sensitivity in third sector research, I lay out a composite conceptual framework, that integrate a material sensitivity into the institutional logics perspective. Next, based on empirical evidence from a long-term ethnographic study of a multi-sided cross-sector organization that provide virtual tutoring, I show how the material and formal aspects of the organizational context, in interdependence with the interactions of the volunteers sustained the blending (Skelcher & Smith 2015) of two logics: the bureaucratic and entrepreneurial logic, into what I call New Civic Management (NCM). Furthermore, I show how the “civic logic”, that the management tried to cultivate top down (Eliasoph 2009) was blocked (Skelcher & Smith 2015) as an unintended consequence of the way digital technology was implemented in the bureaucratically structured and entrepreneurial organization. Finally, across these observations I propose the term “volunteering on demand” to describe the form of organising and practicing volunteering in a digitalised, entrepreneurial, cross-sector organization.

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Grubb A. Exploring the material dimension of cross-sector collaboration in a virtual organization. 2018. Paper presented at Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation
-Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, United States.