Melissa Edwards is Director of the Executive MBA programs at the UTS Business School and a Research Director at the Centre for Business and Social Innovation (CBSI). She researches and teaches about sustainability, sustainable enterprise and responsible management, complexity theory and social impact. Her work draws across disciplines with an overarching aim to understand how people organize, learn and adapt to enable sustainable transitions.
She was a lead CI on Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching project to develop a Community of Practice to share excellence in Sustainability Education through an online platform (www.sustainability.edu.au) for which she was awarded a finalist in the Green Gown Awards for Excellence. She has led several cross-disciplinary and transdisciplinary teams to embed sustainability into business curriculum including the development of an innovative undergraduate course that challenges students to address contemporary wicked problems and to design sustainable entrepreneurial solutions for which she received a University T&L Citation. She currently chairs the UTS Business School cross-faculty Sustainability Working Party and was a member of the University Sustainability Research Committee. She co-chaired the Sustainability and Social Issues in Management stream at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management conference (2014-2018) and has collaborated to develop a stream of research regarding Sustainability in Management Education (SiME) at the prestigious Academy of Management Conference. She has developed a partnership with the world leading Circular Economy advocacy organization, the Ellen McArthur Foundation, to develop a partnership as a network university. UTS was the first Australian University to host an online forum as part of the Disruptive Innovation Festival (DiF), a global initiative designed to bring together educators, innovators, practitioners and students. She co-edited and contributed to two books on design-led innovation processes and facilitated applied courses through u.lab, including one with the City of Sydney, to develop community projects. She is currently teaching Sustainability and responsible management in the undergraduate and postgraduate Business programs and in a summer school as part of the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII).
She conducts research that draws together sustainability, complexity, social capital and network theories with a focus on social impact and new business models, especially the Circular Economy and B Corps. She has worked as Chief Investigator on various research partnerships and has developed a track record for publications in leading journals such as Organization and Environment, Business Strategy and the Environment, Emergence: Complexity and Organization, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Voluntas and Third Sector Review. Outcomes from her recent projects include developing innovative indicators of social impact for Surf Life Saving Australia, coordinating a Big Top Tent as part of the Circular Economy Disruptive Innovation Festival.
Tweeting from @meledwards1 and @sustaineduau
Member of the Academy of Management - Organisations and the Natural Environment, Management Education Division and Social Issues in Management Divisions.
Co-Chair of the ANZAM Sustainable and Social Issues in Management stream
Chair of the UTS Business School, Sustainability Working Party
Australian Postgraduate Award, Federal Australian Government
Can supervise: YES
Sustainability, circular economy, social impact, complexity theory, sustainability in management education, boundary objects
Sustainable Enterprise, Management, Complexity and Creativity, Innovation by Design, Circular Economy, Social Impact
Design thinking aims to capture designers' creativity-driven approach to innovation that can be applied to anything from physical products and intangible services, to formulating and solving complex social problems. Design thinking promotes a particular mind-set that takes the user experience, or a human-centred perspective, as point of departure. While research into the application of design thinking to business problems is well documented, the utilisation of design thinking in university innovation is limited to few cases, and requires better understanding of specific practices for establishing a design thinking capacity in an academic context. This research develops and tests a series of emerging design thinking practices for application in a university context. Small case studies demonstrate each practice, offering interpretation for use. The research identifies six application areas for the practices: strategy, engagement, knowledge making, enactment, presentation, and reflective practice. Through an enactment of the model and practices described in a non-linear and reflexive way, a design thinking capacity can be established and tested. Design research typically applies design thinking tools to the framing and solving of challenges for products and services. This research demonstrates new ways and new tools for adopting design thinking to address innovation challenges specifically towards establishing and growing a design-led innovation lab. The volume offers fifty practices and several case study examples that form the groundwork for future research. 'Practicing' is published by Freerange Press, Melbourne.
Jakovich, J, Schweitzer, J, Brookes, WC, Edwards, M, Jupp, JR, Kirchner, NG & Nikolova, N 2011, U.lab - It's about you: An Emerging Interdisciplinary Framework for Innovation Projects, 1, DAB Documents Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Design thinking aims to capture designers' creativity-driven approach to innovation that can be applied to anything from physical products and intangible services, to formulating and solving complex social problems. Design thinking promotes a particular mind-set that takes the user experience, or a human-centred perspective, as point of departure. While research into the application of design thinking to business problems is well documented, the utilisation of design thinking in university innovation is limited to few cases, and requires better understanding of how to establish design thinking capacity in an academic collaboration context. This research establishes an interdisciplinary design thinking framework at the University of Technology, Sydney, that forms the basis for three experimental projects. New design thinking tools, such as '5X5' and 'faceboard', are developed and a novel public and university innovation program is tested over ten repeated scenarios. The design thinking framework can be adopted for practice and further research. This volume documents the first-steps taken by a cross-faculty university group towards developing an interdisciplinary innovation capacity. It demonstrates how through trialling the practices and methods of design thinking, a deep appreciation of designing, thinking, and practicing creativity emerges across non-design participants. Diverse disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives are illustrated as a source of opportunity to address complex teaching and research challenges. 'U.Lab - It's About You' is published by DAB Docs, University of Technology, Sydney.
Pratt, J & Edwards, M 2008, Management and Organisational Behaviour Workbook, 1st, John Wiley and Sons Australia, Ltd, Milton, Qld.
A workbook with applied case studies, group-based experiential activities and individual skills diagnosis and development exercises designed to accompany leading textbooks in in first year business courses in generation, and 21129 Managing People and Organisations in particular.
Edwards, M, Brown, P, Benn, S, Bajada, C, Perey, R, Cotton, D, Jarvis, W, Menzies, G, McGregor, I & Waite, K 2020, 'Developing sustainability learning in business school curricula – productive boundary objects and participatory processes', Environmental Education Research, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 253-274.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sustainability learning is holistic and complex as it draws on diverse disciplines
and can be interpreted differently within individual pedagogies.
Embedding sustainability across and within business schools relies on
developing suitable boundary objects. These may include representations
such as models, frameworks or classificatory schemes that are malleable
enough to be adapted for use within the disparate disciplines
and pedagogies, yet durable enough to be recognisable and to maintain
consistency across them. Boundary objects thus allow the sharing
of ways of knowing or practice across various social boundaries. This
paper outlines how participatory curriculum development processes can
enable sustainability to be embedded in a business school curriculum.
Distinct phases of the process were marked by different ways of knowing,
as disciplinary-specific academics developed and embedded sustainability
into and across curricula. Boundary objects were both outcomes
and productive facilitators of this process. They acted as catalysts and
attracted ongoing processes of dialogue, debate and meaning-making
between these academics. The institutional context provided enabling
conditions to legitimize outcomes from the participatory process. The
process may be replicable in other business schools by the use of
'Social impact' has become a buzzword as new public management and corporatisation approaches have dominated in attempts to account for non-government organisations' performance. However, social change is enabled through other manifestations of civil society, which are not effectively conceptualised or accounted for through these dominant approaches. This paper uses Anheier's manifestations of civil society as a framework to analyse actions directed towards the issue of homelessness and housing, demonstrating distinctions to be observed in how social change is enacted and impacts are conceptualised. This framework provides practitioners and policy-makers a means to understand the ideological perspectives framing different social services and programs, and establishes a potential research agenda for activists and scholars in developing understandings of the complexities of social impact.
Perey, R, Benn, S, Agarwal, R & Edwards, M 2018, 'The Place of Waste: Changing business value for the circular economy', Business Strategy and the Environment, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 631-642.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Traditionally, wasted resources are considered a burden that imposes a cost on organisations. Yet, ecological sustainability principles underpinning the linked discourses of industrial ecology and the Circular Economy conceptualise waste as a resource, viewed as intrinsically valuable. Our research identified exemplar business organisations that had each changed their business models to resolve the tension of waste as a burden and/or resource. Analysis of how our exemplar organisations changed their business models to tackle pressing sustainability issues and to resolve the burden-resource tension highlighted the emergence of three themes framing their practices and decision making that we label organising narratives: obligation to nature; waste becomes a resource and disruptive innovation. Synthesising these cases through extant sustainability business model frameworks we reveal how incorporating circular flows and patterns into organisations’ business models is enabled through the application, not always as a deliberate process, of systems thinking in those organisations.
Sulkowski, A, Edwards, M & Freeman, RE 2018, 'Shake Your Stakeholder: Firms Leading Engagement to Cocreate Sustainable Value', Organization and Environment, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 223-241.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While most extant scholarship has focused on how stakeholders influence firms, we propose that firms play a critical role in “shaking” stakeholders. Shaking stakeholders means to proactively initiate cooperation with those affected by a firm to alter awareness, behavior, and networks so as to catalyze change in society and the marketplace to reward cocreated innovations in core operations of the firm that improve social and environmental impacts. Two previously underappreciated aspects of stakeholder relations are highlighted. First, the firm can be the entity that leads engagement that shakes stakeholders out of complacency. Second, firms can catalyze collaborative relationships to cocreate sustainable value that is shared with stakeholders. We offer several cases to illustrate this strategy. While stakeholder shaking may be useful in any business environment, global ecological crises, societal problems, and governance failures heighten the need for firms to take action to bring about profound and systemic changes.
Benn, S, Angus-Leppan, T, Edwards, M, Brown, P & White, S 2015, 'Changing Directions in Business Education: Knowledge Sharing for Sustainability', Building Sustainable Legacies: The New Frontier Of Societal Value Co-Creation, vol. 2015, no. 5, pp. 87-102.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Edwards, M, Onyx, J, Maxwell, H, Darcy, S, Bullen, P & Sherker, S 2015, 'A Conceptual Model of Social Impact as Active Citizenship', Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 1529-1549.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Participation in Civil Society Organizations (CSO) draws on and enriches social, cultural, and human capital. Social impacts of such participation as active citizenship are systemic and 'ripple' far beyond the immediate program outputs and outcomes. CSOs and the third sector as a whole must demonstrate and gage the difference they make in the social life of the broader community. This research offers a new approach to conceptualize CSO social impacts through an empirically derived model that accounts for the impacts of active citizenship for individuals, organizations, and the broader community. A conceptual model of systemic social impact is presented as it was developed through an exploratory study of a large Australian CSO using an abductive methodology combining focus groups and a survey. Considering the potential of the model that could account for impacts beyond program outputs and outcomes, we propose several propositions for future testing the conceptual model.
Equality of opportunity is an ideal not always realized in community sport settings. This research explores if the symbolic notion of a ‘fair go’ can be enabled, and if so how participation opportunities can be enabled in community sport programme design to accommodate the variety of needs found in diverse population groups. We answer the research question, how is social inclusion interpreted in the mechanisms that support and sustain locally based community sport programmes? Using a mixed methodology, multiple case study approach, in the setting of an iconic Australian Civil Society Organization, programmes designed to engage recent migrants or refugees unfamiliar with Australian surf conditions and people with disabilities are analysed. Programmes were analysed using Bailey's social inclusion framework, encompassing spatial, relational, functional and power dimensions. Through comparative analysis, fundamental practices that allowed sustained implementation of socially inclusive programmes are identified. Additionally, the framework draws out the elements of the programmes that could be improved.
Darcy, S, Maxwell, H, Edwards, M, Onyx, J & Sherker, S 2014, 'More than a sport and volunteer organisation: Investigating social capital development in a sporting organisation', Sport Management Review, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 395-406.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper presents the findings of a study that examines the development of social capital within an Australian sporting organisation, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA). The study draws on the social capital literature across the not-for-profit sector and specific sport management social capital research. The research design incorporated an interpretive approach with data collected nationally from eight focus groups with key SLSA staff, board members and 'toes in the sand' volunteers. The findings provide fresh insights into the development and understanding of social capital within a sporting organisation. Both bonding and bridging were important social capital outcomes of the organisation's activities, albeit with important implications for antecedents and process. The data presented strong evidence for arguing that within the organisation bonding within the club comes first, which importantly provides a very strong sense of belonging and mutual support for club members, from volunteers through to the board. The strength of bonding provides a powerful base for subsequent bridging capital to the local, regional and national stakeholder communities that are associated with the organisation. Further, social capital develops in both the collective and individual, with leveraging of individual skills contributing to human capital development, which is closely connected to and inseparable from social capital. The paper concludes by discussing the theoretical implications for social capital generally and social capital in a sporting context.
Rangan Srikhanta was a 21-year-old student at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), in Australia, when he first learned about the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative. It was late 2005, and Nicholas Negroponte, then the director of the Media Lab at MIT, and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan had just announced the launch of the program. OLPC, as they described it, was a partnership among private companies, NGOs, and governments to produce the world’s least expensive laptop and to
Benn, SH, Edwards, M & Angus-Leppan, T 2013, 'Organizational Learning And The Sustainability Community Of Practice: The Role Of Boundary Objects', Organization & Environment, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 184-202.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This article aims to explore factors that influence organizational learning around sustainability. For our theoretical framework, we take a sensemaking approach to the multilevel 4I model of organizational learning. Through our pilot study of the case of the higher education sector in Australia, we explore the particular challenges that sustainability poses in terms of integrating new ideas at the group and organizational levels. Our findings suggest that the use of knowledge sharing and generation tools in the form of selected boundary objects can promote the development of communities of practice and hence those integration and institutionalization processes described by the 4I framework when it is applied to sustainability. In specifically allowing for knowledge development and transfer across knowledge and disciplinary boundaries, our revised version of the 4I model has wide relevance to learning around sustainability in any organizational context
Edwards, M & Baker, E 2013, 'Construction in Human Interaction Dynamics: Organizing Mechanisms, Strategic Ambiguity and Interpretive Dominance', Emergence: Complexity and Organization, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 21-36.
In this paper, we extend the understanding of human interaction dynamics by examining three case studies of social-action-networks whose purpose was to achieve collective action on a complex social or environmental issue. Our research questions were How do the organizing mechanisms of fine grained interactions construct emergent order? and Why do influencing strategies enable diffuse networks to emerge into discernible collective action? The studies provided information about the fine-grained interactions as well as the coarse-grained properties that emerged. At the fine-grained level, there was a dynamic tension between structured and formalized organizing mechanisms aimed at organization and those that actively permitted (dis)organization. Network strategic intent was coherent at the coarse-grained level and varied between a clearly defined strategy and strategic ambiguity. We examine these empirical findings in relation to recent literature on constructing forces, strategic ambiguity and interpretive dominance
Edwards, M, Burridge, N & Yerbury, H 2013, 'Translating Public Policy: Enhancing the Applicability of Social Impact Techniques for Grassroots Community Groups', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 29-44.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper reports on an exploratory action research study designed to understand how grassroots community organisations engage in the measurement and reporting of social impact and how they demonstrate their social impact to local government funders. Our findings suggest that the relationships between small non-profit organisations, the communities they serve or represent and their funders are increasingly driven from the top down formalised practices. Volunteer-run grassroots organisations can be marginalized in this process. Members may lack awareness of funders strategic approaches or the formalized auditing and control requirements of funders mean grassroots organisations lose capacity to define their programs and projects. We conclude that, to help counter this trend, tools and techniques which open up possibilities for dialogue between those holding power and those seeking support are essential
Edwards, M, Onyx, J, Maxwell, H & Darcy, SA 2012, 'Meso level Social Impact: Meaningful Indicators of Community Contribution', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 18-37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Social impact measures are not widely agreed, nor implemented by third sector organisations. Meso level indicators of social impact are underdeveloped. Financialised methods such as Social Return on Investment can only account for direct outcomes of defined programs and activities. The broader societal impacts of any such activities are undervalued. This paper outlines the findings of a grounded theoretical approach to determining measures of social impact within a large Australian iconic third sector organisation. Several key factors revealed in this study are discussed in regards to their potential for attributing social impact to organisational activities outside of a program specific outcome. Based on these findings the paper concludes that the development of a tool to measure meso level organisational social impact of third sector organisations may be attainable.
Communities are a major research context for both social capital and entrepreneurship, and 'networks' is a core concept within both frameworks. There is need for conceptualizing network formation processes, and for qualitative studies of the relational aspects of networks and networking, to complement the existing mainly quantitative studies. Within complexity theory, emergence has been linked with formation of entities including networks, and with social entrepreneurship. In this paper, community networks are interpreted as an emergent dynamic process of action and interaction through an empirical case study conducted in an urban community setting. Interviews were conducted with experiential experts at networking. The study was designed within a social capital framework, but frequent reporting of entrepreneurship prompted additional analysis. Practical and theoretical implications of the network study findings are examined in light of the three frameworks together, and further empirical studies are suggested.
Onyx, J, Ho, C, Edwards, M, Burridge, N & Yerbury, H 2011, 'Scaling Up Connections: Everyday Cosmopolitanism, Complexity Theory & Social Capital', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 47-67.View/Download from: Publisher's site
One of the key questions of contemporary society is how to foster and develop social interactions which will lead to a strong and inclusive society, one which accounts for the diversity inherent in local communities, whether that diversity be based on differences in interest or diversity in language and culture. The purpose of this paper is to examine three concepts which are used in the exploration of social interactions to suggest ways in which the interplay of these concepts might provide a richer understanding of social interactions. The three concepts are everyday cosmopolitanism, complexity theory and social capital. Each provides a partial approach to explanations of social interactions. Through focussing on social networking as a significant example of social interactions, we will demonstrate how the concepts can be linked and this linking brings potential for a clearer understanding of the processes through which this inclusive society may develop.
The Australian aged care industry was once dominated by non-profit organisations but recently ownership has changed significantly with the entry of for profit and in particular private equity investment vehicles. This paper provides an overview of the main players and the effects of private equity on the Australian aged care sector. The analysis is framed within the literature which examines the relationship between ownership type and the quality of community services. It also presents a series of case studies which suggest that a change of ownership from non-profit to private equity may have significant consequences for the quality of service provision.
Onyx, J & Edwards, M 2010, 'Community Networks and the nature of emergence in civil society.', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-20.View/Download from: Publisher's site
this paper challenges the limitations of extant knowledge of social formation by its focus on the ordinary, everyday lived reality of maintaining community and on identifying its operations from the internal perspective of civil society. We aim to explore the actual mobilising processes and structures that underpin the formation of social capital in the community. We examine how networks emerge and operate.
Engaging with dialogue concerning the relevance and applicability of social capital to a model of sustainable community development, we illustrate an in-depth case of a community experiencing an ideological clash with the dominant politico-societal structures. We argue that while the exclusivity of bonding social capital has been described as the `dark side, it may be essential for progressive sustainable community development (PSCD). When faced with a development threat, such bonds are essential for building links, bridges and solidarity, enabling cultural reproduction and promoting environmental protection for sustainability
The central aim of the article is to examine the relationship between power and social capital within the cultural, historical and spatial contingencies of three rural communities in Australia. These communities are West Wyalong NSW, Broken Hill NSW and Maleny Qld. Each has variously experienced the threats of deindustrialisation, revitalisation, and commercial development pressures (Beaver and Cohen, 2004). To understand how these communities have addressed their circumstances we examine each in turn within the overriding analytical framework of social capital. We find that social capital is used in different ways in each community. The article is prefaced by an exploration of the core theoretical concepts: Social capital, bonding bridging and linking and power, followed by a brief analysis of each of the three cases.
Benn, S & Edwards, M 2019, 'Corporate Sustainability in a Fragile Planet' in Clarke, T, O'Brien, J & O'Reilly, C (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Corporation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 641-666.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Global market challenges are faced such as incorporating the cost of externalities, capitalizing on impact investing, developing integrated frameworks to account for sustainability performance and enhancing corporate resilience and adaptation in regard to climate change and other environmental and social issues. New business models such as those forming in the circular and sharing economies are enabling transitions to the adoption of sustainable business practices. Such new business models address resource depletion, issues associated with waste management and innovative design of products and services
Edwards, M, Benn, S, Angus-Leppan, T & Perey, R 2019, 'Enacting Sustainable Entrepreneurial Action for a Circular Economy' in Lindgreen, A, Vallaster, C, Maon, F, Yousafzai, S & Palacios Florencio, B (eds), Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Discovering, Creating and Seizing Opportunities for Blended Value Generation, Routledge, UK, pp. 117-134.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In recent times, there have been increasing pressures on businesses arising from resource scarcity, commodity insecurities and waste (Lieder and Rashid, 2016). There is evidence that industrial processes have already breached several planetary boundaries (Steffen et al., 2015) and that this poses a challenge for business leaders to consider their impacts through adoption of systems thinking (Whiteman et al., 2013; Perey et al., forthcoming). Simultaneously, a projected further three billion middle-class consumers will enter the market by 2030 (Nguyen et al., 2014). Trends project upward material consumption growth per capita (Fridolin et al., 1989), and even moderate United Nations scenarios indicate that such continued upward population and consumption trends means that the equivalent of two Earths will be needed to support the human resource demand and absorption of its wastes (Footprint, 2014). In addition to these growth trends, as global supply chains become more complex and dispersed, material leakages, whereby materials are wasted in the supply chain, persist. Consequently, waste is being produced at a rate far beyond what can be absorbed or recycled by the Earth’s ecological systems (WWF, 2015).
Edwards, M, Benn, S & Starik, M 2017, 'Business cases for sustainability-integrated management education' in Handbook of Sustainability in Management Education, Elgar, USA, pp. 45-66.View/Download from: Publisher's site
As the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development has now concluded, it is timely
to reflect on progress attained toward embedding sustainability in higher education curriculum.
Over this period (2004–2014), a number of scholars worked consistently towards
the goal of embedding sustainability in management education, and many exemplars
of holistic sustainability-integrated management education (SiME, also referred to as
in management education’) have been published as typified by special editions
of leading management journals (e.g. Egri and Rogers, 2003; Rusinko and Sama,
2009; Starik et al., 2010). Reviewing these special editions and other published works, it
can be claimed that the dimensions of and principles for holistic SiME have been widely
deliberated across the academe of sustainability management scholars.
Arguably management education itself has failed because basic capabilities have not
been developed in graduates (Navarro, 2008), a situation which can at least, in part, be
attributed to a deficit in SiME principles being comprehensively implemented in the
design of business and management higher education programs (Waddock and Lozano,
2013). If holistic SiME principles exist and exemplars of their successful implementation
abound, important questions arise as to why comprehensive uptake is lacking. Are principles
of holistic SiME relevant for the majority of business schools, given the constraints
of their extant business model? Or are they only relevant to a limited number of specific
programs or courses? If so, is implementation of SiME so limited because universities fail
to recognize the business case for sustainability at the institutional level? In an increasingly
marketized and globally oriented higher education market, are universities too narrowly
developing their business cases through a compliance-based approach, only implementing
sustainability as a risk avoidance strategy? Or is the situation such that universities ...
Edwards, M, Logue, DM & Schweitzer, J 2015, 'Towards an understanding of open innovation in services: Beyond the firm and towards relational co-creation' in Agarwal, R, Selen, W, Roos, G & Green, R (eds), The Handbook of Service Innovation, Springer, London, pp. 75-90.
Schweitzer, J, Edwards, M & Nikolova, N 2012, 'Designing Entrepreneurial Work Environments: Exploring Emergent Design Practices' in Schweitzer, J & Jakovich, J (eds), Crowd-Share Innovation: Intensive Creative Collaborations, Freerange Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 260-269.
In this paper we aim to outline an approach for fostering entrepreneurial creativity by utilizing design-thinking methodology. We explore designing as a practice driven approach to entrepreneurship that involves iteration and play during problem solving, team divergence, a stimulating and porous space, and entrepreneurial creativity that emerges from interpersonal relations within and between teams of entrepreneurs embedded in open networks.
Edwards, M, Williams, T, Angus-Leppan, T & Benn, S 2017, 'Navigating Sustainability: Morphing the Role of the Sustainability Officer', 31st Annual Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management, Melbourne, Australia.
Edwards, M & Sulkowski, AJ 2014, 'Shaking Stakeholders to Leverage a Firm’s Unique Capacity in Issue Networks', 25th Annual Conference of the International Association for Business and Society (IABS), Annual Conference of the International Association of Business and Society (IABS), International Association for Business and Society, Sydney, Australia, pp. 129-139.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Firms are often seen to react to stakeholder pressure. However, if one changes the unit of analysis to a
social or environmental issue, a firm emerges as a key influencer in mobilizing and connecting other stakeholders.
For a variety of reasons, including the firm’s raison d’etre of creating value, a firm may be a critical leader or
lynchpin in a movement, especially where it bridges gaps in a previously disconnected network. Two previously
underappreciated aspects of stakeholder ties are highlighted in this paper. First, the firm can be seen as shaking
otherwise latent stakeholders out of complacency, inasmuch as a firm informs and stimulates concerns, emotions,
and actions among stakeholders in relation to a particular issue. Second, the firm can be seen as shaking-up the
connections between stakeholders, catalyzing new contacts and relationships within an issue network.
Dalton, BM, Green, J & Edwards, M 2012, 'Social enterprise: challenge or opportunity for university nonprofit management programs.', International Society for Third-Sector Research 10th International Conference - Siena, Italy - July 2012., ISTR, Siena, Italy.
What should be taught in nonprofit management programs? Is it a time to reposition and rebrand to embrace social entrepreneurship or do we risk challenging the academic legitimacy of distinct nonprofit programs? In 2005, Michael OâNeil described nonprofit management education (NME) as âlargely a phenomenon of the past two decades, [one that] has grown rapidly in the United States. The field was virtually nonexistent in 1980; by 2000 there were ninety-one masterâs degree programs with at least a concentration in NME... nearly one hundred undergraduate programs, and about fifty university based certificate programsâ (OâNeill, 2005, p. 5). In Australia, the status of the nonprofit education has also increased considerably; the number of academics with research and consulting experience in third-sector organizations has grown; new journals have emerged and the numbers of books sharply increased. By the mid-1990s, a small but visible presence of nonprofit sector management education had established itself. This rapid growth of these programs has been attributed to a number of trends. Foremost is the rapid professionalization and growth of the sector and a growing consensus that nonprofit management is distinct in a variety of ways that require suitably tailored university courses. In the last decade or so, however, rapid changes may have blurred sectoral boundaries. One major shift affecting the field has been the growing interest in social entrepreneurship and enterprise, a pattern that has already been observed in the US and UK (McKeown et al 2006; Eikenberry and Drapal Kluver 2004). This is mirrored at the university level, with interest in social enterprise perhaps stemming from the growing stature and prominence of entrepreneurship and business venturing in general within business schools (The number of colleges and universities that offer courses related to entrepreneurship in the US has grown from a handful in the 1970s to over 1,600 in Kuratko 2005). In ...
Edwards, M, Wilden, RM, Jonson, PT & Sivabalan, P 2012, 'Implementing interdisciplinary business learning that is industry relevant', Proceedings of UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Baker, E, Onyx, J & Edwards, M 2010, 'Emergence of social entrepreneurial activities: Learning from community networks', Second Int' l Conf on Social Entrepreneurship, Systems Thinking & Complexity, Adelphi University Center for Complexity & Social Entrepreneurship.
dela Rama, MJ, Edwards, M & Dalton, BM 2008, 'Honourable Intentions? Analysing Private Equity's Interests in the Aged Care Sector', Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Review 9th Biennial Conference, Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Review 9th Biennial Conference, ANZTSR, Auckland University of Technology City Campus, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 1-27.
The abstract for the conference paper was accepted and currently appears on p.19 of the full list of abstracts for the conference. This paper was co-written with Melissa Edwards and Bronwen Dalton. This paper is currently under peer review for publication in a journal.
Edwards, M 2008, 'Emergent Organisation for Sustainability', Demonstrate, ANZTSR, AUT, Auckland New Zealand.
Pratt, J, Edwards, M, Pitsis, TS & Crawford, JD 2008, 'Developing collaboration skills in first year undergraduate business students', The Quantitative Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Business, Economics and Commerce: Forum Proceedings, Quantitative Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Business, Economics and Commerce, The University of Melbourne, The University of Melbourne, pp. 47-58.
Collaboration skills are defined as the set of skills and capabilities required to work effectively within and across groups to achieve group goals. The development of these skills are assumed but not taught directly or evaluated in undergraduate group assessments in many university subjects. This paper discusses a research project investigating the development of student collaboration skills in the compulsory first year undergraduate subject 21129 Managing People and Organisations. One of the key aims of the subject is to help students understand and acquire a range of collaboration skills that will enhance their work readiness. During August 2008, 290 student surveys were completed by students after their initial formation into groups during tutorials. These surveys asked students about their past experiences of group work, and their expectations and motivations with respect to group work in this subject over the coming semester. A follow-up survey was conducted in November, and attempts to capture the extent of changes, if any, in student perceptions of their experience developing collaboration skills over the semester. This paper reports on the findings of stage one of this project. An overview of student attitudes and perceptions is presented, as well as findings on the systematic variation of these with respondent characteristics. The finding of a number of statistically significant associations of student satisfaction with the method of group formation employed in tutorials is then discussed as a surprise finding from this research.
Perey, R, Benn, SH, Dunphy, DC & Edwards, M 2008, 'Landcare : A narrative construction for ecological sustainability', The Questions We ask, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Academy of Management, Anaheim, California.
Benn, SH, Edwards, M, Perey, R & Dunphy, DC 2007, 'Emergence, complexity and sustainability: A study of the "sub-political arena"', Academy of Management, Academy of Management, Academy of Management, Philadelphia, pp. 1-36.
Perey, R, Dunphy, DC, Edwards, M & Benn, SH 2007, 'Landcare and the livelihood of knowledge', Proceedings of the 21st ANZAM 2007 Conference: Managing Our Intellectual and Social Capital, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-17.
This paper explores how communities generate effective ecological solutions using both implicit narrative construction and explicit processes of knowledge creation and knowledge application. We argue that the act of developing a narrative frames our understanding of the environment and governs our relationship with our environment. We identify micro-narratives extracted from the interviews with members of Australian Landcare organizations and link these micro-narratives to knowledge creation and dissemination processes. We conclude that social change toward sustainability comes about through the rewriting of the environmental story within which we situate ourselves.
Edwards, M 2006, 'Un-ordered organisation: exploring processes in an emergent social movement', Navigating New Waters: Eighth Biennial Conference of Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research, Conference of Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research, ANZTSR Secretariat, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-23.
Edwards, M & Benn, SH 2006, 'Emergence, complexity and sustainability: a study of the `sub-political arena'', Management: Pragmatism, Philosophy, Priorities - Proceedings of the 20th ANZAM Conference, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Yeppoon, Australia, pp. 1-17.
Edwards, M & Onyx, J 2002, 'Inter-sectorial engagement: multiplexing between business and nonprofit organisations in Australia', Refereed Proceedings of the ANZAM2002 Conference - Enhancing Business and Government Capabilities: Research, Knowledge and Practice, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Victoria, Australia, pp. 1-9.
Dominish, E, Florin, N, Giurco, D, Corder, G, Golev, A, Lane, R, Rhamdhani, A, Reck, B, Graedel, T, Sharpe, S, Edwards, M, Benn, S & Brooks, G 2017, Australian Opportunities in a Circular Economy for Metals: Findings of the Wealth from Waste Cluster, Sydney, Australia.
Edwards, M, Benn, S & Angus-Leppan, T Office Of Learning and Teaching 2014, Ongoing Management and Development of the Learning and Teaching Website: Sharing Sustainability Education, pp. 1-94, Sydney.
Research report summarising key outcomes and recommendations for Sharing Sustainability Education within a National Community of Practice.
A 'tool kit' for small grass roots organisations seeking to report their social impact to their funding organisations
dela Rama, MJ, Edwards, M & Dalton, BM Australian Parliament House 2008, Submission No. 14 to the Australian Senate Community Affairs Committee on the Inquiry into the the Aged Care Amendment (2008) Measures No. 2 Bill, pp. 1-12, Canberra, Australia.
With two other School of Management colleagues, Melissa Edwards and Bronwen Dalton, we made this submission into the following Community Affairs Committee Inquiry. This submission was later cited by Ian Verrender, a Sydney Morning Herald journalist in his business column "Profit Not Improvement", 29th November 2008 http://business.smh.com.au/business/profit-not-improvement-the-motive-f…