Document Type

Research Article


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore bricolage as the missing link in understanding how cross-sector social partnerships form and operate in response to grand challenges. It is proposed that the weaving together of resources employed by members of cross-sector social partnerships (CSSPs) is bricolage in action and can be linked to Gray’s (1985) facilitating conditions for collaboration. While existing research examines bricolage primarily at the individual level, this research studies collective bricolage, as implemented by a cross-sector social partnership in its process to address a grand challenge. Design/methodology/approach – The authors follow the evolution of a Midwestern initiative aimed at the grand challenge of generational poverty. The deductive case study approach identifies the mechanisms of bricolage being employed in the initiative’s evolution and ties these to Gray’s (1985) seminal paper on interorganizational collaboration. Findings – This case study has implications for academics conceptually struggling to understand grand challenges and the role of entrepreneurial initiatives in the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as practitioners currently involved in collaborative efforts to address said challenges. Originality/value – This study enriches the discussion and enhances the link between the CSSP literature and new notions of social entrepreneurship that embrace the collective as their unit of analysis. This is the first work of its kind to link bricolage to a nascent CSSP and demonstrate how the entrepreneurial concept of bricolage is an inherent part of CSSP formation and operation.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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