Narrating an Emerging Cross-sector Partnership: From Brand Orange to Taste Orange

Catherine McMullen, Ian Braithwaite

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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This paper uses a narrative approach to explore the emergence of a cross-sector partnership established to engage in collaborative marketing activities to promote a regional Australian city as a food and wine tourist destination, as well as promoting the food and wine of the region to large urban markets. Cross-sectors partnerships involving diverse stakeholders from public and private sectors experience significant challenges in mobilising these diverse partners to act collaboratively to achieve collective outcomes. One way to examine cross-sector partnerships is from a communication perspective where organizations are seen as being constituted primarily through communication patterns (Koschmann, Kuhn & Pfarrer 2012). The narrative approach that we take in this study helps us to understand the dynamic process at play in the emergence of a cross-sector partnership and explore the role of communication in its constitution. The approach taken locates our study in an emerging body of work that conceptualises organisation as a social process and generatively studies organisations in ways other than the dominant rational scientific traditions, traditions that abstract and generalise and lose touch with practice in the process. Our particular interest is the insights that can be gained from applying this communicative perspective to an emerging cross-sector partnership. Specifically, we look at three newsletters written across the three-year initial funding period for a collaborative marketing project for a regional area and the food and wine from this region. By conceptualising these newsletters as a narrative that gives direction, coherence and clarity during the period of emergence, we can explore the role of communication as this marketing alliance emerges into a successful partnership. Use of narrative inquiry enables us to (1) work with the temporal aspects ofan emerging organisation; (2) provide an alternative perspective on practices for mobilising a variety of stakeholders undertaking collaborative activity; (3) illustrate the contribution narrative inquiry can make to the study of marketing implementation in collaborative marketing activities and; (4) more broadly contribute to strategies to achieve cross-sector partnership outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECRM 2013 Proceedings
EditorsI. Ramos, A. Mesquita
Place of PublicationReading, UK
Publishery Academic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781909507302
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal
Duration: 04 Jul 201305 Jul 2013 (proceedings)


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
Internet address

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