Collective Engagement for Social Purpose

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.

Society recognises the need for organisations to be more socially oriented, with increasing pressure for organisations to shift emphasis from short-term profit to higher levels of social benefit. Social purpose-driven organisations develop a shared cognitive, emotional, and behavioural commitment for a chosen social purpose.

Within a social purpose-driven organisation, individuals can make a difference for the greater good, find a sense of meaning, and draw on support from the group. Achieving social impact requires collective engagement beyond the individual to change norms and practices for societal well-being. Understanding how to collectively engage groups of individuals toward a social purpose will not only support organisations in pursuing a common cause for the greater good but will also lead to greater economic returns.

Aim: This project aims to develop knowledge on how to generate collective engagement towards a social purpose.

Planned activities: This project will run over multiple years and comprises three phases. The main activities will include:

  1. Interviewing managers, consultants, leaders, and citizens.
  2. Developing a measurement tool.
  3. Conducting controlled experiments and applying insights in the field.

Anticipated outcomes: This project expects to generate new knowledge of how to drive engagement from an individual to a group level and unpack the benefits that may be realised by focusing this commitment on a social purpose. Expected outcomes from this project include measurement tools, an intervention framework for facilitating collective engagement, and mechanisms for leveraging this engagement for community wellbeing. Outcomes from this project should provide significant benefits within organisations, by enhancing their social impact and facilitating economic growth and job creation.

Project funded by the Australian Research Council

Adelaide Business School logo
Australian Research Council logo