Original Paper

Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 377-395

First online:

Collaborative Capability Design: Redundancy of Potentialities

  • John W. SelskyAffiliated withCollege of Business, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , Rafael RamírezAffiliated withOxford University
  • , Oğuz N. BabüroğluAffiliated withSabanci University

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In this study we extend the socio-ecological concept of two contrasting design principles applicable to all work systems. Reframing those design principles as strategic as well as operational choices leads us to propose a third design principle, Design Principle 3 (DP3), which has remained undeveloped in social ecology. We call this design principle Redundancy of Potentialities and demonstrate its application in transorganizational work systems. We argue that DP3 is at the core of socio-ecological practice and is therefore appropriate for coping with the highly turbulent environments now experienced in many industries and fields. We offer several illustrations of DP3 in practice and draw implications for enhancing capabilities for creative collaboration in inter-organizational fields through deliberate attention to design.


Design principle Social ecology Trans-organization İnter-organizational field Capabilities