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Philosophy of Management

Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014

Concrete Abstractions

Vincent Blok
Pages 53-74

The Metaphysics of Collaboration: Identity, Unity and Difference in Cross-sector Partnerships for Sustainable Development

In this article, we critically discuss the ideal of alignment, unity and harmony in cross-sector partnerships (CSP) for wicked problems like sustainable development. We explore four characteristics of the concepts of identity, unity and difference which are presupposed in the partnership and collaboration literature, and point at their metaphysical origin. Based on our analysis of these four characteristics, we show the limitations of the metaphysical concepts of identity and difference in the case of CSPs for wicked problems like sustainable development.

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