آناتومی یک مشارکت اجتماعی : چشم انداز ذینفعان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3517||2010||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 76–90
We offer an anatomic analysis of a social partnership among a complex network of stakeholder organizations. Contributions of this research are twofold. First, we use explanatory case data to develop a framework of stakeholder collaboration in a complex setting involving a mix of for-profit and non-profit organizations. Our study is motivated by a need for understanding about how organizations can work within social partnerships to achieve their goals (be they profit related or otherwise). Second, we offer insight about lateral relationship exchange from the view of the entire project—a perspective not typically employed in the domain of relationship marketing. The focal issue in the case, use of technology to improve highway safety, is a social initiative which further sets our study apart in the relationship marketing literature. Using fieldnotes from 33 in-depth interviews, we employ a mix of inductive and deductive reasoning to formulate a conceptual framework and research propositions for the social partnership. The conceptual framework offers in-depth understanding of social partnership development and relationship dynamics. This, in turn, may help stakeholders achieve organizational goals more effectively in this unique environment.
Most of the greatest innovations in history are those that emerged over a long period of time and required the involvement and adaptations of many business sectors as well as society. Counted among these multi-sector innovations are the telegraph, electricity and motor cars. In the last twenty five years, the internet, high-definition television, and recycling programs are among the many innovations that have had widespread impact on both business and the consuming public. Integrating these innovations into mainstream use requires the involvement of many and varied partners from government agencies, non-profit organizations and commercial firms. For commercial firms, involvement in such partnerships can be a source of competitive advantage. Firms may find it profitable to be “first-movers;” they establish a competitive position with prohibitive barriers to entry for later entrants. Profitability may also be enhanced as firms gain new customers in new markets. Social benefits may accrue as well; these are important as they may translate into significant goodwill on the balance sheet. Yet, although these complex innovations have enormous implications for the nature and practice of relationship marketing, our theoretical models fail to adequately capture the full range of issues and relationships in such situations. To address this gap in the literature, we draw on stakeholder theory and relationship marketing literatures to advance the overarching perspective of a social partnership ( Waddock, 1989 and Waddock, 2002) composed of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and for-profit companies. Social partnerships are unique as a relational form in several ways. First, the unit of analysis is the collectivity of organizations that come together to solve “messy problems” that cannot typically be solved by one organization acting alone (Waddock, 2002). Even though individual organizations have separate (often conflicting) goals, the focus is on the collectivity, not on any individual organization. Second, social partnerships involve a wide range of relationships—some growing into formal contractual relationships and others coming and going in less formal ways over time (i.e., social contracts between stakeholders). A third distinguishing factor is the “social” component of the partnership. Thus, the project goal cannot be achieved without the interactions and collaboration within the collectivity of organizations—and it is the nature and process of those interactions that are of interest in the social partnership perspective. Finally, the cross-sector collaboration presents far-reaching implications throughout industry supply chains. New technologies and/or whole industries emerge and firms in the commercial sector create new products for new markets. As an illustrative example, consider how the advent of “green” and environmentally-friendly products involves the collaboration of organizations across public and private sectors to develop new technologies for the benefit of society. These organizations include investors, suppliers, legislators, government agencies, environmentalists, retailers, the media, special interest groups, and local, state, and federal governments, among others (see Mendelson and Polonsky, 1995, Polonsky, 1995 and Stafford and Hartman, 1996). Previous research approaches might consider a particular company and how the company might build relationships within the “green” world to its advantage. For instance, the shoe/clothing retailer, Timberland, offers a new line of shoes called the Earthkeepers Collection where parts of the shoe (sole, lining) are made from recycled material. Timberland's goals include profit and corporate social responsibility. On the other hand, a social partnership perspective considers more broadly issues such as how recycled materials are sourced and processed, the equipment and systems needed to recycle the materials, how incentives may encourage companies like Timberland, the use of public service programs to encourage citizens to recycle, and so forth. Thus, Timberland is a commercial firm that is getting involved as one participant in the social partnership that is focusing on the use of recycled materials in apparel manufacturing. Similar examples include the development of biotechnology products, satellite cable TV, and the introduction of the electric car (see Cooper, 2000). We believe the concept of social partnerships well characterizes the various multi-sector innovations that have changed the way we live and work, as well as those, that are currently emerging. Our research uses a case study approach to examine the formation and functioning of one social partnership focusing on one multi-sector innovation. The case is a specific context in which a broad group of stakeholders work together in an attempt to deploy an “Intelligent Transportation System” (ITS) project in one mid-sized city. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is a multi-sector innovation involving a set of technologies and applications focused on improving roadway transportation and public safety. When fully deployed and operational, an ITS project relies on a wide variety of technological and management systems to provide a well-coordinated response to any unplanned roadway event (including traffic congestion, crashes, spills of hazardous materials, and so on). The goals of an ITS project are to identify adverse roadway events, send the appropriate response (ambulance, tow trucks), quickly transport victims, rapidly clear the roadway, and finally to restore the traffic to normal patterns with minimal impact on the traveling public. The objectives of this research are to identify and describe a relatively under-researched form of lateral relational exchange—a social partnership. We first examine the foundations in the literature, define the concept of social partnerships, and highlight the fact that social partnerships, as a form of relational exchange is a valuable, yet under-researched approach. We next provided additional background for the research context in order to give the reader an understanding of the nature of the products and services that are of interest to the business sector. We then describe the methodologies used to collect and analyze the case data. A conceptual framework is presented based on a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning. Finally, we explore the research and managerial implications of the framework, note the limitations of this research, and suggest next steps to further develop the understanding and usefulness of social partnerships from a marketing perspective.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Through this case research we gain new understanding from a macro-project level about a complex collaboration of stakeholders in a “messy problem” with societal implications. Our framework includes overlap with existing work in the relationship marketing literature and offers new insights for relationship marketing scholars to consider. One strength of building theory from case data is the likelihood of generating novel theory. “That is, attempts to reconcile evidence across cases, type of data, and different investigators, and between cases and literature increase the likelihood of creative reframing into a new theoretical vision“ (Eisenhardt, 1989, p. 546). Our conceptual framework of a social partnership provides a step toward a new theoretical vision in the marketing domain at both a managerial and scholarly level. Marketing managers/practitioners of firms that may become involved in social partnerships might gain general insights from our framework in terms of understanding the complexity of relationships and concerns of stakeholder groups (primary versus critical secondary). Understanding how to be a productive stakeholder and work effectively with other stakeholders could give for-profit firms a new market on which to focus (Polonsky et al., 2002). Similarly such understanding may benefit non-profit organizations in helping them see the “big picture” so that they, too, can achieve their goals. Finally, through this case, scholars have a view of a social partnership as a form of lateral exchange (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) from an alternative perspective (project-based macro level) from which to consider ongoing and new research issues in the study of inter-organizational relationships. As noted in the limitations, this case study is confined to a narrow setting and has many restrictions on its generalizability. A reasonable question is: to what extent does our emergent framework of the Steel City ITS social partnership capture issues associated with adoption of a multi-sector innovative technology in other settings? A next step for future research would be to examine a social partnership outside the public safety and transportation world, possibly in the area of recycling programs, as mentioned earlier. To what extent are the propositions in our framework supported in other contexts? Are stakeholder interactions similar or different and in what ways? Are the ultimate users of programs relatively passive (as in the ITS case) or more active (as they might be in a recycling program)? This type of future research would be in line with Eisenhardt's (1989) suggestion for multiple iterations between theory and data.