Theorizing Organizational Learning to Enhance Youth-Adult Partnerships in Community-Based Youth Serving Organizations
Youth-adult partnerships are intentionally cultivated intergenerational relationships characterized by shared power among youth and adults. Although youth-adult partnerships (Y-APs) are widely adopted as a strategy to promote key positive development outcomes in youth service organizations, research documents various challenges that affect their quality implementation. This critical literature review presents a theoretical framework for how community-based youth service organizations may enhance youth-adult partnership quality through organizational learning. The main premise is that Y-AP implementation challenges are best understood as challenges of collective learning within an organization. As such, the review integrates theory and research in organizational learning with present scholarship on Y-APs to delineate how two learning processes-intra-group and inter-group knowledge transfer-influence Y-AP quality. These learning pathways exist in dynamic interaction at different levels of the organizational hierarchy, at the point of service and beyond. The theoretical framework provides a road map for effective functioning of Y-APs in practice and an interpretive lens for descriptive and intervention research to understand and address Y-AP challenges.
Nalani, A., Yoshikawa, H., & Godfrey, E. B. (2021). Theorizing Organizational Learning to Enhance Youth-Adult Partnerships in Community-Based Youth Serving Organizations. Am J Community Psychol. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12514