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Who's influencing whom? Developing sustainable business partnerships

Who's influencing whom? Developing sustainable business partnerships Purpose – Recently David Jones in Who Cares Wins proposed sustainability as being essential for businesses success over the coming decades. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of the development of a partnership between an environmental non‐government organisation (NGO) (world wildlife fund‐UK) and a major retailer (Marks and Spencer). The partnership developed three “types”, sponsorship, technical and communication partnerships. Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theory approach was taken; information was gathered using semi‐structured interviews. Data from these interviews were then triangulated with corporate materials to allow generalisations to develop. Findings – Through the three “types” of partnership themes of conflict and project drift were identified, although the overarching “Plan A” commitment is seen as a potential exemplar in sustainability. Difficulties were identified with respect to the dissemination of the outputs from the partnership, some of which were too complex, where others appeared to change to be more appealing to the consumer. Social implications – Although a single case study, it highlights the challenges and benefits to both partners. As such, it provides insight into the practical issues of delivering sustainability commitments and projects in partnership. Such approaches are critical not only for the viability of business, but also for the long‐term health of our planet. Originality/value – This represents a case study of the development of a sustainable partnership between a large corporate and an NGO, which could represent a template for sustainable business. This paper in responds to the growing demand for such case‐study examples. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png EuroMed Journal of Business Emerald Publishing

Who's influencing whom? Developing sustainable business partnerships

EuroMed Journal of Business , Volume 9 (1): 15 – Apr 29, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1450-2194
DOI
10.1108/EMJB-06-2013-0033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Recently David Jones in Who Cares Wins proposed sustainability as being essential for businesses success over the coming decades. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of the development of a partnership between an environmental non‐government organisation (NGO) (world wildlife fund‐UK) and a major retailer (Marks and Spencer). The partnership developed three “types”, sponsorship, technical and communication partnerships. Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theory approach was taken; information was gathered using semi‐structured interviews. Data from these interviews were then triangulated with corporate materials to allow generalisations to develop. Findings – Through the three “types” of partnership themes of conflict and project drift were identified, although the overarching “Plan A” commitment is seen as a potential exemplar in sustainability. Difficulties were identified with respect to the dissemination of the outputs from the partnership, some of which were too complex, where others appeared to change to be more appealing to the consumer. Social implications – Although a single case study, it highlights the challenges and benefits to both partners. As such, it provides insight into the practical issues of delivering sustainability commitments and projects in partnership. Such approaches are critical not only for the viability of business, but also for the long‐term health of our planet. Originality/value – This represents a case study of the development of a sustainable partnership between a large corporate and an NGO, which could represent a template for sustainable business. This paper in responds to the growing demand for such case‐study examples.

Journal

EuroMed Journal of BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 29, 2014

Keywords: Communication; Sustainability; Partnership working; Sponsorship; Non‐government organizations

References