Metaorganizing collaborative innovation for action on Grand Challenges

Lisa Callagher, Stefan Korber, Frank Siedlok, Ziad Elsahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Grand Challenges are complex issues that require collaborative innovation among heterogeneous actors who draw upon contradictory institutional logics. While existing literature shows how social enterprises and individual organizations reconcile tensions between economic and environmental logics, scholars know less about how and when a broad set of actors adopt practices and priorities that balance economic and environmental values. This article explores how three agricultural cooperatives act as metaorganizations and facilitate collaborative innovation and sustainable transitions to address grand challenges regarding land use. We find that the cooperatives stimulate awareness of environmental challenges and local experimentation, orchestrate collaborative solutions by enrolling and engaging a broad set of actors, and coordinate the diffusion of novel practices across the institutional field. We add new insights into producer cooperatives' role as metaorganizations in facilitating the creation, validation, and diffusion of practices that balance business and sustainability. Based on our findings, we argue that by metaorganizing, producer cooperatives can galvanize field-level shifts in institutional logics through framing, knowledge sharing, and knowledge brokering mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Agriculture
  • Collaboration
  • collaborations in technology management
  • collective action
  • Economics
  • environmental issues in technology management
  • innovation management
  • Interviews
  • knowledge management
  • knowledge transfer
  • Organizations
  • Production
  • Sustainable development
  • Technological innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Metaorganizing collaborative innovation for action on Grand Challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this