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What We Found: Collective Engagement For a Social Purpose

In a new series for GovComms we will be going along for the ride to follow the journey of the University of Adelaide's latest multi-year, multi-phase research project, which is called Collective Engagement for Social Purpose.

For this new series, we will regularly be joined by Dr. Taylor Willmott and Professor Jodie Conduit, who are from the university's business school.

In this weeks episode, we catch up with Jodie and Taylor to discuss some their key findings so far.

As a recap, the project emerged as a culmination of several projects and research across several sectors. However, all projects and research had in common one thing... how organisations could better engage with their stakeholders to drive improvements in both their products and the service offering's. This latest research comes from the position that stakeholders aren't passive recipients, that they are people that you want to engage with to make change, to work better with them, and to really drive that enhancement in everything that you do.

"In the interviews, respondents have discussed shared purpose and a sense of social purpose in slightly different but related ways. I think ultimately it's our why. It's your reason for existing and for being. They spoke about things like, "It's our DNA. It's actually our North Star and the things that we're striving to achieve, but ultimately it's something that we all align on and can connect with in some way." - Dr. Taylor Willmott

David, Jodie and Taylor discuss factors that can help create that sense of sharedness ("if that's a word" - David). Alignment for all parties is one aspect the others being transparency and clarity.

"Getting people all on board and getting aligned in their understanding with a shared purpose is actually a concept that has challenged us a little bit in understanding it because in our interviews, people talk about the need to have alignment and a shared purpose, but they also talk about the need to have diversity and different opinions and different roles and different people at the table" - Professor Jodie Conduit


About the Author

: This multi-phase project will advance knowledge on how managers, consultants, and leaders can cultivate a shared commitment among a group of individuals or team toward a common cause that benefits the broader community and their environment.