Cross-Sector Partnerships to Address Societal Grand Challenges: Systematizing Differences in Scholarly Analysis

Lea Stadtler, M. May Seitanidi, Helena H. Knight, Jennifer Leigh, Amelia Clarke, Marlene Janzen Le Ber, Jill Bogie, Oda Hustad, Ioannis Krasonikolakis, Priyanka Shah Brunese, Eleni Lioliou, Adriane MacDonald, Jonatan Pinkse, Sarita Sehgal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on how cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) contribute toward addressing societal grand challenges (SGCs) has burgeoned, yet studies differ significantly in what scholars analyze and how. These differences matter as they influence the reported results. In the absence of a comprehensive framework to expose the analytical choices behind each study and their implications, this diversity challenges interpretation and consolidation of evidence upon which novel theory and practical interventions can be developed. In this study, we conduct a systematic review of scholarly analysis in CSP management studies to develop a framework that contextualizes the SGC-related evidence and reveals scholars’ analytical choices and their implications. Conceptually, we advance the term “SGC interventions” to illuminate the black box leading to SGC-related effects, thus helping to differentiate between transformative versus mitigative interventions in scholars’ analytical focus. Moreover, the framework stresses the logical interplay between the framing of the SGC-related problem and the reporting of the intervention’s effects. Through this, we juxtapose what we call problem-centric versus solution-centric SGC analysis and so differentiate between their analytical purpose. We discuss the framework’s implications for advancing an SGC perspective in scholarly analysis of CSPs and outline avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Dec 2023


  • Cross-sector partnerships
  • impac
  • literature review
  • scholarly analysis
  • social issues
  • societal grand challenges


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