Carroll Prof. Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The International Symposium on Cross Sector Social Interactions has presented Carroll School of Management Galligan Professor of Strategy Sandra Waddock with a lifetime achievement award for her pioneering work in cross-sector collaborative research. Waddock began research in the field 30 years ago. She is only the second person to receive this honor from the symposium.

“I was surprised, humbled, and amazed to see that I was considered to be a pioneer,” said Waddock, who also is the Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility. “I just thought I was doing this really cool stuff. I don’t think any of us regard ourselves as pioneers. What we do is we find something that’s really interesting to look at, or is a puzzle, or that’s important, and that very few other people are interested in, and we go after it.”

Waddock was one of the few researchers in the 1980s that undertook collaborative research focusing on public-private sector partnerships, where difficulties are inevitable.

“Collaboration research inherently involves dealing with what are called ‘wicked problems’: intractable, complex, and indeterminate issues for which different stakeholders have different definitions, and, importantly, different proposed solutions,” she said. “Coming to resolution and making progress on such wicked problems, if it is to be done well, demands multi-sector collaboration.  That is why the progress the field has made is so important.”

Where Waddock’s early research involved business engagement with schools that were trying to resolve the education crisis, nowadays her attention centers on large system change, such as in economic, business and world social systems, and sustainability. The lifetime achievement award included a $1,000 check, which Waddock donated to the Pine Street Inn.




About the Author

Erin Purcell

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

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