Vidensdeling i CSR partnerskaber

Christine Vitved Sørensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Within the field of NPOs and businesses, a trend of adopting organizational values and procedures across each other’s sectors has emerged. An earlier conducted field study showed this to be the case in the NPO Children’s Welfare, and so the purpose of this thesis was to examine how both NPOs and businesses can obtain and share knowledge of these values and procedures most efficiently. The immediate starting point was to locate in what ways these two sectors interact, and it was then deducted that they do so in CSR partnerships. However, the effects of sharing knowledge in this context should also be taken into consideration and so the purpose of this thesis was also to examine how it would affect the organizational identity. By carrying out a study that examines how NPOs and businesses are able to share knowledge within their CSR partnerships and what consequences this will have for the organizational identity, this thesis contributes to the theoretical understanding as well as it creates a theoretical framework, which it is believed have not yet been seen. In order to exemplify the research I decided to conduct a case study of both a business and a NPO from which empirical results were gathered and documented in the analysis. The case study was designed as an in-depth interview with the management of the LEGO Foundation and the Children’s Cancer Foundation, as well as a questionnaire survey with the employees of both organizations. In the analysis it was found that certain elements had to be incorporated in a CSR partnership in order for it to constitute the setting in which knowledge sharing could take place. Here among were cooperating at a deeply integrated level of jointed activities, having a significant two-way value flow, assessment of structural characteristics, match of mission statements and having a common reporting agreement. Also certain features of importance to knowledge sharing itself had to be substantiated: composing a strategy for the partnership which would match the organizations’ individual strategies, securing a profound interaction between the partners and building trust that would allow for knowledge of organizational character to be shared. The empirical findings in the case study showed that though both of the organizations meet many of these requested elements, they lacked in strategic awareness. They did, however, demonstrate possession of knowledge on one part that would be valuable to the other part. Such as the NPO having valuable knowledge on specialized field subjects that the business was entering into, and the business having knowledge about strategic planning and partnership reporting – issues that the NPO had only just begun working with. Finally, it was found that if knowledge of organizational values and procedures, derived from both the business and NPO sector, was implemented in each organization, through knowledge sharing in the CSR partnership, it would affect the culture of each partner. This would be the case because this type of knowledge constitutes essential parts of organizational culture. Such a change in organizational knowledge would also activate a change in organizational image, and this image would be projected to the organizations’ stakeholders who in turn would mirror this projection back into the organizations, once again affecting the cultures. This reciprocal dynamic is what creates organizational identity and when positives changes occur, they balance the identity, reduce dysfunctions and thus increase the efficiency of the organization. The finding of the analysis would therefore state that when accurately managed, knowledge sharing in CSR partnerships would have a positive effect on the organizational identity.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages133