Institutions for Collective Action (ICA-RSM)

Institutions for Collective Action (ICA-RSM)

The ICA research team studies the phenomenon of social enterprise and organisations formed from below by the immediate stakeholders, whose aim is to work together to pursue both material and societal interests.

Taking a longitudinal perspective – that is, making observations over time – is essential for reporting on the resilience of institutions for collective action. In the past and in the present, institutions have always needed time to establish themselves and adapt to the requirements of the people involved. Moreover, examining their longevity in combination with the threats and incentives they encountered adds to our understanding of the factors that make a co-operative succeed or collapse.

The ICA research team takes an interdisciplinary approach. Embedded in Rotterdam School of Management, the team includes management scientists, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and representatives from other complementary disciplines. By learning from each other’s approaches and integrating insights, together the researchers build theories about sustainable institutions for collective action. They study a myriad of topics, from the evolution of commons over over the past millennium, to the formation of platform co-operatives and modern initiatives of citizens involved in short-chain food supply.

The activities of the ICA research team go beyond theories. Team members aim to involve citizen collectives in their research – citizen science – and will return what they learn to society. To do this, the ICA team is developing a knowledge platform called Collectieve Kracht (in Dutch) that will encourage and facilitate the interchange of expertise among collectives of various backgrounds, and so help institutions for collective action to evolve into dynamic and resilient organisations.

Check out the documentary entitled ‘Our Common Good’ produced about some of our research themes.


Associated individual members

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