Formal networks: the influence of social learning in meta-organisations from commons protection to commons governance

Laura Corazza*, Maurizio Cisi, John Dumay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The governance of shared resources through collective actions to prevent “the tragedy of the commons” has long been a controversial topic in management studies. Hampered by a lack of formal organisational structures, small locally-governed commons are usually managed through informal networks and, hence, largely studied in this context. However, Italy’s formalised network contracts initiative provides a unique and relatively rare opportunity to study how the business-led collective action of a formal meta-organisation influences the use of commons. Using a mixed-methods qualitative approach, this paper reveals how particular organisational features, especially collaborative and social learning, can play a critical role in driving formal meta-organisations towards positive outcomes in three progressive stages: commons protection, commons stewardship, and commons governance. The analysis is framed by two different streams of literature–meta-organisation theory and sustainability science–with implications for the theory and praxis of both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
JournalKnowledge Management Research and Practice
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date23 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • collective action
  • Common goods
  • formal business networks
  • meta-organisations
  • social learning

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