Enabling Corporate Value Creation Through Public-Private Partnerships: Analysing how Novo Nordisk can Demonstrate Corporate Value Creation from the PPP ‘Action on Diabetes’ in a Shared Value Perspective

Nina Louise Dalgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


Companies are constantly seeking new ways to bridge the gaps and tensions between business and society to reclaim legitimacy and unleash new growth opportunities. Seeking ways to create economic value in collaboration with society is in management literature increasingly being referred to as ‘creating shared value’. The attention to shared value is occurring alongside a proliferation of multi-stakeholder initiatives that blend public and private actors and redefine boundaries of legitimacy and accountability between business and society. Such initiatives are often termed Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Existing theory and literature on PPPs and their evaluation is quite biased towards the public sector perspective with limited attention to the business case for PPPs or how PPPs can drive corporate value creation. The tensions and interactions between creating shared value and PPPs is explored in this thesis through a case study of Novo Nordisk and the PPP ‘Action on Diabetes’ in Qatar. The creating shared value framework presented by Porter and Kramer is the supporting framework for capturing strategic management dimensions of enabling value creation from PPPs. To circumvent the framework’s rather holistic level it will be supplemented by additional theory on the business case for stakeholder engagement, the role of stakeholders in creating value and the merging of public and private value creation. Through empirical evidence from the case study it is explored that the business case for Novo Nordisk can be identified at both an activity, company and project level where tangible and intangible corporate value mediated by stakeholder engagement can be demonstrated. Through the four-step process of integrating shared value strategy and measurement, shared value is uncovered by demonstrating how the competitiveness of Novo Nordisk is enhanced while social conditions related to diabetes healthcare are simultaneously advanced in Qatar. While the shared value concept is increasingly being used more broadly as a new form of CSR, the analysis reveals that it is stronger and more value-adding in its original narrow focus on the tangible business effects at certain levels where PPPs in this case is a platform for not only enabling local cluster development but also reconceiving products and markets. While empirical results are context-specific, opportunities for scaling the PPP model both internationally for Novo Nordisk but also to other companies prevail, especially in developing countries. Further research on PPPs as a business strategy and further operationalization of the tensions and interactions of PPPs and CSV is called for.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages87