What is it? The Impact Labs are social laboratories that promote discussions, social experimentation, and joint research to understand specific challenges at the European level from a paradoxical perspective.
Goal: To connect academia with other stakeholders, promoting transdisciplinary discussions and knowledge co-creation with and for society.
Each Impact Lab will explore one of the following specific sub-field, but not limited to: Sustainability, Changing Nature of Work and Healthcare
Impact Labs in Healthcare
#1. Exploring and managing paradoxical tensions within social non-profit organizations in the Healthcare industry
Health care is complex and expensive; the industry is struggling in varying degrees to maintain financial sustainability in an uncertain and changing environment. Mental health illnesses have increased significantly, yet even more by the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Around the globe about one billion individuals are affected by mental disorders, nonetheless mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health care. Non-profit organisations aim to bridge the gap in public health care service, while facing paradoxical tensions. The purpose of this study is to examine paradoxical tensions and management approaches within NPOs in the field of mental health (eating disorders), in order to deepen the understanding of these organisations and to improve their ability of managing paradoxes in a more efficient way.
This in-depth, descriptive case study consists of an inductive approach aimed at exploring paradoxical tensions and their relations with another. The author collected data primarily via interviews, in order to perform a qualitative content analysis.
Health care NPOs in the field of mental health are rife with paradoxes, most of them already have been discovered in paradox literature and can be easily allocated to the four types of paradox: learning, organizing, performing, belonging. Whereas others, are absolutely unique and sector specific. The umbrella paradox (financial sustainability – social responsibility) and further sub paradoxes are interlinked with one another and build a complex system. For managing paradoxical tensions, NPOs highlight the importance of communication, transparency and the value in both/and thinking, in order to balance between opposing poles of paradox.
This study will contribute to the organizational literature on paradoxes by empirically examining the essential but under-researched theoretical link between paradox and non-profit organisations in the health care sector. Moreover, to provide management-assistance for nonprofit organisations by introducing a tool to assess and maintain a complex and dynamic system of interwoven paradoxes.
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Impact Labs in the Changing Nature of Work
#1. Growth in Renewable Energy Cooperatives: A Case on members' self-identification within the organization
The report aims to analyse the consequences of growth on the cooperative economic model, specifically in the renewable energy sector. The focus was on exploring how the need for financial sustainability due to the expansion can be balanced with keeping people engaged within the organisation. Indeed, a paradox arises between the necessity of maintaining a high member’s degree of self-identification with the given cooperative and the urge of being economically sustainable. From the interview of three cooperatives, data were drawn to elaborate insightful hints regarding possible approaches to overcome this contradiction.
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