Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Call for papers: Special Issue on Public‐Private Collaboration, Hybrid Organizational Design and Social Value

Journal of Management Studies

Call for Papers

A Special Issue on Public‐Private Collaboration, Hybrid Organizational Design and Social Value

Submission Deadline: May 31st, 2015

Guest Editors:


In today’s economic environment, novel, innovative forms of collaboration between public and private organizational actors take an increasingly prominent place. Across the world, the provision of public goods and services increasingly relies on public-private sector interaction and cross-sector partnerships, involving firms, governmental or political actors, and social constituents. Industries and sectors as diverse as healthcare, education, defence, utilities and public infrastructure witness growing private sector participation. Likewise, addressing many of the world’s most pressing social concerns, such as poverty and disease eradication, humanitarian aid provision, increasingly falls under the realm of multi-actor constellations involving corporations, as well as non-governmental (NGOs) and citizen organizations. In all these domains, various hybrid organizational arrangements become common-place and raise important questions related to their governance, design, performance implications and effectiveness.

Some of the most critical questions raised revolve around the organizational design and governance mechanisms underlying these novel forms of public-private interaction. Likewise and, critically, they also put into spotlight important trade-offs that may exist between the pursuit of social or public welfare and private interests. As cross-sector collaboration becomes increasingly wide-spread, the capacities for such partnerships to generate and deliver value to underlying stakeholders - public bodies, private and social actors, become of a paramount concern. 

How are public-private or cross-sector contexts different from traditional purely private or for-profit settings? How are various public-private or hybrid organizational forms designed? How do they create economic and social value? Are public and private economic and social interests reconcilable in these settings and how? How are social value or certain public vs. private economic returns generated within such contexts, and distributed among underlying stakeholders?

These are some of the fundamental questions that this Special Issue aims to address. It seeks to tackle the theoretical challenges involved in the analysis of collaboration efforts across public and private domains, and to stimulate innovative research, based on novel conceptual frameworks and analytical tools. It calls for a renewed interest in research that stretches beyond the private interest or for-profit domains, and sheds lights on novel inter-organizational forms as important mechanisms bringing together diverse organizational actors, able to generate, potentially, important economic and social value, and offer solutions to pressing public welfare concerns.


The scholarly contributions for this Special Issue are sought from management and organization science scholars working on any of the research areas that address organizational interactions taking place between firms, public sector actors and non-governmental organizations. In terms of specific theoretical domains, the aim is to draw together and cross-fertilize on the burgeoning strands of literature that exist, albeit, quite separately, on public-private interaction in management studies, sociology and organizational economics.

It welcomes scholarly contributions that draw upon and integrate latest research on areas such as the role of institutional environment, studies on managerial and political strategies, contractual and firm boundary theories, public entrepreneurship, and emergent streams of literature on public-private organizational design, governance and social value.

The spectrum of potential themes covered in the Special Issue includes the emergence and performance of novel boundary spanning organizational arrangements and structures between public and private sectors, such as public private partnerships (PPPs), cross-sector collaborative arrangements and social ventures, and their implications in terms of private as well as, critically, social or public value. The Special Issue, thus, represents a genuine invitation to address more rigorously the nature of ties and organizational forms emerging from the interplay between NGOs, public agencies, governments, private firms and funding institutions. It also invites scholars to shed light on important mechanisms and dynamics able to influence policy conclusions, effective delivery of public or social services, and governance mechanisms.

A list of potential topics that are suitable for this Special Issue includes (but is not limited to) the following:
  • - Public-private partnerships and contractual ties,
  • - Social value, its creation and appropriation,
  • - Governance of multi-layer and multi-actor relationships in public-private context,
  • - Public-private interactions: organizational resources, public and private capabilities and learning,
  • - Innovative organizational design,
  • - Social and/or public entrepreneurship,
  • - Social value and new organizational forms.

A (non-exhaustive) list of specific research questions to be addressed includes:

  • - What are the determinants that explain the emergence and rise of novel organizational forms that fuse and cross the well-established public and private sector boundaries?
  • - How does a changing social context and demands for increasing corporate social engagement affect organizational design and appearance of new, multi-layer, multi-actor relationships?
  • - How are these new forms of organizations designed or structured?
  • - How are underlying public and private resources mobilized?
  • - What are the capabilities required to succeed in managing such new organizational forms? How can public and private actors mutually learn and develop such capabilities? 
  • - How able are such novel inter-organizational forms to change the social landscape in many countries?
  • - Are these novel organizational forms always value-creating?
  • - Under which conditions do they deliver public benefits as opposed to additional costs or welfare losses to both private actors and society as a whole?
  • - What kind of value sharing mechanisms are present or put in place in these new boundary-spanning organizations to respond to broader social needs, as opposed to merely private value creation imperatives?
Both theoretically (or conceptually) as well as empirically-grounded manuscripts will be considered for the Special Issue, provided that underlying research has a potential to deliver significant implications for strategy, organization research and practice.

In line with the objectives for all manuscripts published in JMS, authors are expected to demonstrate solid, topical theory development as well as important empirical contributions. The manuscripts sought-after should demonstrate rigour in the analysis and conceptual development, along with a novelty and innovativeness in the research. Moreover, in the view of the socially significant nature of the phenomena covered by this Special Issue, as well as the emergent nature of the theory surrounding them, the solicited manuscripts are expected to move beyond the conventional knowledge and identify new, original avenues for future research, broaden the range of methodological perspectives and theoretical underpinnings.

In terms of geographical scope, this Special Issue is particularly aimed at attracting papers from a wide range of geographical locations. While the debates on public-private partnerships are especially pertinent in the European context, this Special Issue aims to address public and private sector collaboration as a topical or emergent area also in the Americas, Africa, and Asia and Pacific region. Any contributions from these regions are, hence, particularly welcome.


All papers will be reviewed following the JMS double-blind review process.

The deadline for submitting the papers is May 31st, 2015 by midnight or 24.00 (GMT zone). The papers should be submitted by email to the guest editors using the following address:

All papers should be prepared and formatted following the standard JMS Editorial guidelines (

The guest editors also welcome informal inquiries related to the Special Issue, the underlying topics and potential fit with Special Issue objectives.

Contact Emails:

For inquiries related to submission opportunities and other questions related to the Special Issue, please contact Bertrand V. Quélin (, Ilze Kivleniece (, or Sergio Lazzarini (

Margaret Turner
Editorial Office Coordinator & SAMS Administrator
Journal of Management Studies
Durham University Business School
Mill Hill Lane
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 5395