Re-enacting a multi-stakeholder dialogue in the tea sector: a role play

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractEducational


We developed and tested a role play for students in which they re-enact a multi-stakeholder meeting in the tea sector. The role play is based on prior research on a partnership in the tea sector; from 2015-2020 companies and non-profit organizations joined forces to revitalize the tea industry in an African country and to realize a living wage for workers (Van Hille et al., 2021), complemented with publicly available sources. In the role play, students negotiate the strategy of a complex multi-stakeholder partnership, advancing the collaboration from agreed objectives towards concrete action. Whilst putting themselves in the shoes of non-business actors, the role play challenges business students to find collaborative solutions for complex societal and environmental issues. The role play sensitizes students about both the importance and complexity of partnerships for sustainability in the context of grand challenges in global supply chains (DiVito et al., 2021), and allows them to practice the skill of network orchestrating and convening (Nasiritousi & Grimm, 2022; van Hille et al., 2019), which is an imperative leadership skill for the next generation of business leaders.

The main learning objectives for students are: (1) to experience which tensions and challenges can arise in multi-stakeholder dialogues; (2) differentiate between tensions related to collaboration across sectors and tensions in collaborating with competitors and/or other supply chain actors; and (3) to appreciate and practice the role of network orchestrators in governing multi-stakeholder dialogues. Whereas students learn about tensions in multi-stakeholder partnerships in the lectures and assigned readings of the module, this role-play allows students to move beyond cognitive learning that has long dominated management education (Cunliffe, 2002). Students experience collaborative tensions first-hand (albeit in a simulated setting), making their learning about partnerships in a sustainability context meaningful, engaging and joyful (PRME, 2023).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event10TH RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT EDUCATION RESEARCH CONFERENCE - Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lissabon, Portugal
Duration: 26 Sept 202328 Sept 2023


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