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Paper info: How Activists and Target Organizations collaborate in the face of emerging contingencies setbacks and inaction: constraining or enablers of change?

Title


How Activists and Target Organizations collaborate in the face of emerging contingencies setbacks and inaction: constraining or enablers of change?

Authors


Raymond Loohuis
University of Twente
Netherlands
Raymond Loohuis , Ariane Von Raesfeld, Bart Hutschemaekers and Aard Groen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 28th IMP-conference in Rome, Italy in 2012.

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Abstract


In this paper, we attempt to examine the sources of agency of target organizations when engaged incollective change processes organized by activists concerned with environmental issues andsustainable development in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In combining social movement andinstitutional entrepreneurship literature, we examine why and how target organizations engage incollective action, change their practices, and adopt new ones in the pursuit of solving a common issuewith the help of activists. We found that motivations and intentions to contribute to collective actionwere instrumental in the beginning of their participation. However, as the project evolves, intentionschanged through a reorientation of existing practices and positions in the collective change process oftarget organizations. This shift was caused by inaction and other setbacks where target organizationsand activists were exposed. These changes in turn, set in new practice development and organizationalforms necessary to continue collective change. With these findings, we contribute to an understandingof network mobilization by showing the emergent and dynamic character of collective change andespecially indicate setbacks and inaction as both constraining and necessary condition for change.