Robust Action Strategies for Tackling the World's Grand Challenges
In book: Resilient Systems, Resilient Communities, Chapter: 8, Publisher: Intersections of Sustainability, Editors: Jordan B. Kinder, Makere Stewart-Harawira, pp.180-204, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 24, 2018
Organizations are increasingly interested in contributing to so-called grand challenges such as climate change and poverty alleviation. In this chapter, excerpted from "Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited" (Ferraro et al., 2015), we summarize a novel approach to addressing the world's grand challenges based on the sociological concept of robust action. Grounded in prior empirical organizational research, we identify three robust strategies that organizations can employ: participatory architecture, multi-vocal inscriptions, and distributed experimentation. We demonstrate how these strategies operate, the manner in which they are linked, the outcomes they generate, and why they are applicable for resolving grand challenges. For those readers interested in a fuller exposition, we suggest consulting the original article (Ferraro et al., 2015) as well as a companion article that examined the relevance of robust action strategies in three sustainability related contexts and compared our theory of robust action strategies with alternative management approaches (Etzion et al., 2017).
Keywords: robust action, complexity, uncertainty, evaluativity
JEL Classification: D7, D8, I18, I3, O31, O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation