From Stakeholder Engagement to the Collective-Impact Approach for Sustainability Paths in Complex Problems
Purpose of the paper: Stakeholder engagement is becoming the preferred approach for implementing sustainability paths. However, it is not always sufficient to develop responsible behaviours. Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination and the commitment of a group of important actors (Kania and Kramer, 2011). Such change can be considered from the perspective of ‘collective impact’.
This paper analyses the case of an area named Agro Caleno, which belongs to the territory that has recently been dubbed ‘The Land of Fires’ in Campania, Italy. A succession of environmental and health crises have afflicted this area for the past eight years, creating serious difficulties for the structural stability of many businesses that produce protected designation of origin (PDO) food items, as well as the entire community.
Methodology: This research uses qualitative analysis. It employs documentary research and a direct survey of the businesses and local municipalities of the case-study area. In particular, this paper addresses the experience of some businesses that are implementing initiatives to adopt collaborative sustainable behaviours.
Findings: This research demonstrates the strong strategic importance of the decision to create a network to address the consequences of the environmental problems faced by businesses in Agro Caleno. However, while it was found that there is a good level of cooperation between business and local institutions, the network has not produced the estimated results.
Practical Implications: To produce consistent and effective results that will solve a complex problem such as environmental pollution, it is not only necessary to create cross-sector public and private partnerships, but also to initiate a systematic approach focused on the relationships between different stakeholders and a progression towards shared goals that maintain the perspective of collective impact.
Limitations: This research did not conduct exhaustive investigation of all categories of stakeholders.
Originality of the paper: This paper provides an in-depth examination of the importance of social capital in creating sustainable business behaviours and proposes the theoretical approach of collective impact for solving complex problems from the perspective of sustainability.
BANDURA A. (1977), Social Learning Theory, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
BARILE S., SAVIANO M., POLESE F., DI NAUTA P. (2013), “Il rapporto impresa-territorio tra efficienza locale, efficacia di contesto e sostenibilità ambientale”, Sinergie, n. 90, pp. 25-49.
BARNES J.A. (1954), “Class and Committees in a Norvegian Island Parish”, Human Relations, vol. 7, n. 1, pp. 39-58.
BENNETT R. (1999), “Business Associations: Their Potential Contribution to Government Policy and the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol. 17, n. 5, pp. 593-608.
BIRLEY S. (1985), “The role of networks in the entrepreneurial process”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 3, n. 1, pp. 107-117.
BUONDONNO E. (2011), Protocollo d’intesa per la valorizzazione dell’Agro Caleno-basso Volturno-sud Garigliano e del water-front della provincia di Caserta Idee e proposte oltre il PTCP, Masterplan 2009, www.doppiavoce.it.
BURT R. (2000), “The Network Entrepreneur”, in Swedberg R. (eds.), Entrepreneurship: The Social Science View, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 281-307.
CAROLI M., TANTALO C. (2011), (a cura di), Le Reti d’Imprese come strumento privilegiato per la diffusione di una Sostenibilità di Sistema, Luiss Business School, http://www.pcnitalia.it
CARTER C.R., JENNINGS M.M. (2002), “Logistics Social Responsibility: An Integrative Framework”, Journal of Business Logistics, vol. 23, n. 1, pp. 145‐180.
COLEMAN J.(1990), Foundations of Social Theory, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
COLEMAN J. (1988), “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital”, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 94, pp. 95-120.
CURRAN J., RUTHERFOORD R., LLOYD SMITH S. ( 2000), “Is there a Local Business Community?: Explaining the Non-Participation of Small Business in Local Economic Development”, Local Economy, vol. 15, n. 2, pp. 128-143.
DALLOCCHIO M., PERRINI F., VURRO C., RUSSO A., (2010), Creare valore nella supply chain: modelli di gestione a confronto, EGEA, Milano.
DE CHIARA A. (2012a), “La competitività responsabile nelle PMI: strategia vincente nei territori “nemici””, Piccola Impresa/Small Business, n. 1, pp. 29-52.
DE CHIARA A. (2012b), “S-D Logic and CSR: the management of social capital for the value creation in SMEs”, Journal of Business Market Management, vol. 5, n. 2, pp. 137-153.
FREEMAN R.E. (1984), Strategic Management: a stakeholder approach, Pitman, Boston.
FREEMAN R.E., WICKS A.C., PARMAR B.(2004), “Stakeholder theory and “The corporate objective revisited”, Organization Science, vol. 15, n. 3, pp. 364-369.
GLASBERGEN P. (2010), “Global Action Networks: Agents for collective action”, Global Environmental Change, vol. 20, n. 1, pp. 130-141.
GOFFEE R., SCASE R. (1995), Corporate Realities: The Dynamics of Large and Small Organisations, International Thomson Business Press, London.
HABISCH A. (1999), “Sozialkapital”, in Korff W. (eds.), Handbuch der Wirtschaftsethik, Gütersloher Verlaghaus, Gütersloh, pp. 472-509.
HANLEYBROWN F., KANIA J., KRAMER M. (2011), “Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work”, Standford Social Innovation Review, web site http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/channeling_change_making_collective_impact_work. (Published January 26, 2012).
HEMMATI M. (2002), Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability, London, Earthscan Publications Ltd.
IANNONE R. (2007), “Lo specchio della rete. Dinamiche sociali ed economiche a confronto”, in Benini R. (a cura di), L’impresa responsabile e la comunità intraprendente, Halley Editrice, Matelica (MC).
JOSEPH E. (2000), A Welcome Engagement: SMEs and Social Inclusion, Institute for Public Policy Research, London.
KANIA J., KRAMER M. (2011), “Collective Impact”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter.
MARCHINI I. (1995), Il governo della piccolo impresa, vol. II - La gestione strategica, 1° Ed. ASPI/InsEdit, Genova.
MEISTER H.P., LUETH A. (2001), “Opening Address: Beyond Corporate Citizenship - Investing in Social Capital as Corporate Strategy”, in Habisch A.H.P., Meister H.P., Schmidpeter R. (eds.), Corporate Citizenship as Investing in Social Capital, Logos- Verlag, Berlin, pp. 3-8.
NAHAPIET J., GHOSHAL S. (1998), “Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organisational Advantage”, Academy of Management Review, vol. 23, n. 2, pp. 242-266.
ORLITZKY M., SCHMIDT F.L., RYNES S. L. (2003), “Corporate social and financial performance: A metaanalysis”, Organization Studies, vol. 24, n. 3, pp. 403-441.
OSTROM E. (1994), “Constituting Social Capital and Collective Action”, Journal of Theoretical Politics, vol. 6, n. 4, pp. 527-562.
PERRINI F.(2006), “Smes and Csr Theory: Evidence and Implications from an Italian Perspective”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 67, n. 3, pp. 305‐316.
PERRINI F., POGUTZ S., TENCATI A. (2006), Developing Corporate Social Responsibility. A European Perspective, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing.
PERRINI F., RUSSO A., TENCATI A., VURRO C. (2009), “Going beyond a long-lasting debate: What is behind the relationship between corporate social and financial performance?”, EABIS Research Project Working paper.
PILOTTI L., APA R., TEDESCHI-TOSCHI A., SARMAN I. (2013), “La competitività dinamica degli ecosistemi territoriali. Il caso degli eco-sistemi turistici multilocali tra Italia e Svizzera”, Sinergie, n. 91, pp. 83-102.
PORTER M.E, KRAMER M.R. (2006), “Strategy & Society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 84, n. 12, pp. 78-92.
PUTNAM R. (1993), “The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life”, The American Prospect, vol. 4, n. 13, pp. 35-42.
PUTNAM R. (2000), Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon and Shuster, New York.
REUTER C., FOERSTL K., HARTMANN E., BLOME C. (2010), “Sustainable global supplier management - the role of dynamic capabilities in achieving competitive advantage”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol. 46, n. 2, pp. 45-63.
RUSSO A., TENCATI A. (2009). “Formal Vs. Informal CSR Strategies: Evidence from Italian Micro, Small, Medium‐Sized, and Large Firms”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 85, Supplement n. 2, pp. 339‐353.
SAVIANO R., (2014), “Il dossier ministeriale sull’inquinamento dei terreni tra Napoli e Caserta suscita perplessità. È solo il punto di partenza. Ecco come andare avanti”, La Repubblica, 20 marzo.
SPENCE L.J., SCHMIDPETER R. (2003), “SMEs, Social Capital and the Common Good”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 45, n. 1-2, pp. 93-108.
SPENCE L.J., HABISCH A., SCHIMIDPETER R. (2004), Responsibility and social capital: the world of small and medium sized enterprises, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, England.
SPENCE L.J., SCHIMIDPETER R., HABISCH A. (2003), “Assessing social capital: Small and medium size enterprises in Germany and U.K.”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 47, n. 1, pp. 17-29.
SPENCE L.J., COLES A.M., HARRIS L.( 2001), “The Forgotten Stakeholder? Ethics and Social Responsibility in Relation to Competitors”, Business and Society Review, vol. 106, n. 4, pp. 331-352.
SVENDSEN A.C., LABERGE M.(2005), “Convening stakeholder networks”, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, vol. 19, (Autumn), pp. 91-104.
TENCATI A., ZSOLNAI L. (2009), “The Collaborative Enterprise”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 85, n. 3, pp. 367-376.
UNIDO (2007), The UN Global Compact operational Guide for medium-scale enterprises, July, www.unido.org.
VACCÀ S. (1993), “Grande impresa e concorrenza tra passato e futuro”, Proceedings Convegno Economia Politica Industriale 1973-93, Novembre, Milano.
WERTHER W.B, CHANDLER D. (2005), “Strategic corporate social responsibility as a global brand insurance”, Business Horizons, vol. 48, n. 4, pp. 317-324.
WOOLCOCK M., NARAYAN D., (2000), “Social capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research and Policy”, World Bank Research Objectives, World Bank, New York.
YIN R. (1984), Case study research, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA..
ZADEK S. (2006), “The logic of collaborative governance: corporate responsibility, accountability, and social contract”, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Working Paper, n. 17, School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge.