Rural and Urban Place Renewal in Cross-Sector Partnerships

Ana Cristina Dahik Loor, Todd W. Moss, Suho Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the acknowledged importance of the meanings that people attach to places (e.g., homes, businesses, communities), the literature on cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) provides few insights into how place influences CSPs and how CSPs influence the places where they are enacted. To address this oversight, we explore the role of place using an inductive comparative study of nine CSPs, split across five rural cooperative enterprises and four urban social enterprises that have a common private-sector partner. We inductively derive a process model of place renewal that occurs through CSP growth, and changes the meanings that individuals give to their places. We utilize Penrose’s theory of firm growth to explain how rural CSPs grew in different ways than urban CSPs, and the changed meanings of place that emerged. Both rural and urban CSPs overcome initial perceived restrictions of place through a process of realizing the potential for change, reconfiguring the organization through physical and process changes, and ultimately experiencing renewal that changes how they view their places. Our study contributes to the CSP literature by acknowledging the role of place in theorizing on CSPs, and by including the agency and voice of traditionally marginalized actors in the CSP process. It also contributes to the theory of firm growth by explicitly incorporating place as an outcome of the organizational growth process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-812
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Cross-sector partnerships
  • Place
  • Theory of firm growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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