BusIness-ngo collaboratIon for sustaInabIlIty: reasons and outcomes
The global sustainability movement have changed the traditional definitions of corporate sustainability and corporate success. In the current business environment, it is not adequate to define and measure corporate success only in terms of financial criteria. Besides their profit seeking operations, corporations are required to meet increased shareholder expectations in finding solutions to social and ecological problems. Ethical corporate governance, responsible production systems and equal opportunities are set as main targets for sustainable progress. Similarly, studies provide evidence that companies with sustainability strategies and systems perform better in financial performance, shareholder value and investment opportunities. Furthermore, economic, ecological and social dimensions of corporate sustainability management require a combination of a wide range of external party resources, knowledge and skills. Within this perspective, NGOs become one of the strongest partners for corporations in integrating sustainability to business strategy. Thereby, this study focuses on the previous corporate sustainability literature for understanding business-NGO collaboration motivations and expected outcomes. The literature presents that corporations interact more with NGOs for their special expertise, knowledge and resources in order to follow global sustainability developments and meet varied stakeholder expectations. NGOs also function as critical partners for product innovation or new market entry by providing social and legal inputs when the customer or the market is not familiar to the corporation. Concordantly, the expected outcomes from NGO interactions are to promote legitimacy for operations, develop a responsible company image, integrate sustainability into strategy and attract qualified human resources to the company. Following this theoretical background, some research questions are developed to be answered in the forthcoming phase of the study.
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