Fresh off the AMR Press: A Communicative Framework of Value in Cross-Sector Partnerships

Matt Koshman, Tim Kuhn, and Mike Pfarrer finally got their Communicative Framework published in the July issue of AMR. We’re glad to see the notion of organization as communication spread further and further. Congratz to our dear colleagues! Here’s the abstract of their paper:

Cross-sector partnerships (XSPs) are an important part of today’s organizational landscape and a favored strategy for addressing complex social problems. However, a discrepancy exists between the popularity and prevalence of XSPs and evidence of their ability to produce value with respect to the problems they address. We therefore offer a framework for increasing and assessing XSP value based on an alternative conception of organizational constitution rooted in communication theory. Our central argument is that the overall value of XSPs is not merely in connecting interested parties but, rather, in their ability to act— to substantially influence the people and issues within their problem domain. This ability, we argue, comes from the constitution of organizational forms that are distinct from their members and that display collective agency —the capacity to influence a host of relevant outcomes beyond what individual organizations could do on their own. Our primary contributions are developing a framework for understanding XSP constitution in terms of communication processes and explaining how XSP value can be increased and assessed through communication practices.

Be sure to check out the entire paper, Matt’s animated explanation of the communicative constitution of organization and Tim’s keynote answer to question, what if organization studies took communication theory seriously?