Shaping meaning about joint action in meta-organisational meetings
Paper in proceedings, 2019

Collaboration between different organisations creates a new organisation made up of organisations – a meta-organisation. In meta-organisations, where there is scope for experimentation and innovation, dialogue about the meaning of joint action is ongoing. I explore meta-organisational meetings as spaces that support representatives from different organisations to shape meaning about joint action. I draw on a two-year ethnographic study of a partnership of fifteen organisations that worked together to test and develop electric buses and related infrastructure live within the public transport system of a Scandinavian city. I consider a conversation between a group of senior leaders representing member organisations that was orchestrated by the coordinators of the meta-organisation. Engaging in relationally-responsive practices, the participants inquire into what they can do collectively and what this means for the meta-organisation. The paper makes clearer how meetings offer a site for understanding more of meaning-making for the joint action of meta-organising.

organisational ethnography

societal challenges


arresting moments


practical authorship

inter-organisational collaboration




Jane Webb

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

British Academy of Management
Aston University, United Kingdom,

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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