Strategizing Nature in Cross-Sector Partnerships: Can Plantation Revitalization Enable Living Wages?

Iteke van Hille, Frank G. A. de Bakker, Peter Groenewegen, Julie E. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


Strengthening sustainability in global supply chains requires producers, buyers, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in transformative cross-sector partnerships (CSPs). However, the role played by nature in such partnerships has been left largely unattended in literature on CSPs. This article shows how strategizing nature helps CSPs reach their transformative potential. Strategizing nature entails the progressive revealing and reconciling of temporal tensions between “plants, profits, and people.” We show how a CSP took a parallel approach—recognizing the divergent temporalities of plants, people, and profits as interlaced and mutually determined—toward realizing their objective of implementing living wages in a sub-Saharan African country’s the tea industry, simultaneously driven by the revitalization of tea plantations. The promise of better quality tea leaves allowed partners to take a “leap of faith” and to tackle pressing issues before the market would follow. Our findings thus show the potential of CSPs in driving regenerative organizing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-197
JournalOrganization & Environment
Issue number2
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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