|Title||The role(s) of universities in dealing with global wicked problems through multi-stakeholder initiatives|
|Author(s)||Dentoni, D.; Bitzer, V.C.|
|Source||Journal of Cleaner Production 106 (2015). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 68 - 78.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Universities - Multi-stakeholder initiatives - Cross-sector collaboration - Sustainable development - Wicked problems|
|Abstract||Multi-stakeholder initiatives have emerged as collaborative partnerships to deal with wicked problems, particularly in the global food system. This article analyzes the role that academics play in these initiatives at a global level, and the nature of their participation. Based on a qualitative analysis supported by a database of 41 multi-stakeholder initiatives in the global agriculture and food sector and 51 interviews with their participants, this research identifies five key roles that academics play in multi-stakeholder initiatives and in communities of practice around them. In multi-stakeholder initiatives, academics act as knowledge experts, agenda-setting advisors and facilitators. In communities of practice, academics develop new knowledge on multi-stakeholder initiatives by theorizing from their observation and reflection and they build international bridges between students and multi-stakeholder initiatives. The results imply that academics engaging in multi-stakeholder initiatives that deal with global wicked problems can choose multiple paths to align their societal mission of co-creating sustainability with the broader organizational goals of their universities.