همکاری جامعه مدنی با کسب و کار :برگرداندن توانمندسازی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5257||2001||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 29, Issue 7, July 2001, Pages 1097–1113
Strategic partnerships between civil society organizations (CSOs) and businesses are widely promoted as important new strategies to encourage corporate citizenship in the global South. This study tested these claims by examining 10 cases of collaboration between CSOs and businesses in Brazil, India, and South Africa. Findings suggest a sobering view of the benefits that civil society organizations and their constituencies can expect from collaboration. Development impacts may be more likely in sectors clearly linked to business interests, such as education and employment generation. Goals of organizational capacity building are more likely to be satisfied than those of citizen empowerment. CSOs and businesses reap mutual benefits from collaboration, but CSOs tend to shoulder more of the costs. Businesses can dominate collaborative decision-making, with negative results for sustainability. The paper offers a number of propositions to guide further research and inform collaborative practice. Empowered civil society collaboration with business is suggested as a more appropriate model than strategic partnership for CSOs pursuing sustainable development.
Global leaders in the development field are promoting collaboration between civil society and the market as a significant new strategy for promoting sustainable development. Major actors such as The World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, CIVICUS, and several bilateral donors are convening international forums, supporting innovative projects, and advocating strategies for collaboration between the sectors. After a decade or more of neoliberal policy governance in most countries around the world, several trends have converged to prompt attention within civil society to the idea of collaboration with business. Development-oriented civil society organizations (CSOs) are facing increasing uncertainty and reductions in financial resource flows from international donors and national governments. Simultaneously, demands for services are growing as large numbers of people suffer from decreased government services and economic dislocations that are associated with global financial shifts. In the context of declining legitimacy of government to provide basic services, pressures on private actors in civil society and the market to address social demands are increasing. The ideas that increased levels of civil society–business cooperation will bring significant sustainable development benefits and substitute for the role of the state need further exploration. If collaboration with business is warranted as a major new strategy, it should produce significant impacts and be widely replicable across the global South. This paper assesses the empirical data from 10 cases of civil society–business partnerships in Brazil, South Africa, and India. It identifies the benefits of civil society–business collaboration and examines factors associated with the relatively more successful cases. The analysis suggests a more sobering and perhaps surprising view of intersectoral collaboration than many advocates working within the neoliberal paradigm expect. Corporate citizenship may not produce significant development results unless CSOs are strong partners in collaborative activities, and governments may play very important roles in producing successful collaboration between the other two sectors.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The experiences of civil society–business collaboration in Brazil, India and South Africa suggest a more sobering view of the potential for strategic partnerships to be a major new development strategy for the global South. It proved to be difficult to find strategic partnerships. Those selected were no more productive than resource-based partnerships, and sometimes were less so. The development impacts are not insignificant, but neither are they highly impressive in comparison to other kinds of collaborative strategies or the aspirations of many development CSOs for ending poverty and social injustice. In many cases, collaboration with business brought significant costs and challenges to civil society partners. Some benefits of collaboration with business are of doubtful value unless part of a long-term strategy of engagement with business and the market sector. Although partnerships are usually intended to be joint projects with shared control, it is easy for business to dominate civil society (and government) partners. Yet there are many development CSOs that may not wish to discard the idea of collaboration with business. The range of projects and types of impacts indicate the potential for more significant impacts in certain domains, if strategies and arrangements for collaboration can be strengthened. A more realistic and constructive approach may be developed out of the ashes of the strategic partnership model. Civil society organizations need not abandon one of their core values and competencies—empowerment—to cooperate with businesses. This study suggests that when civil society institutions draw on their own resources and take an empowered approach to collaboration, the results are more likely to produce desired development impacts and strengthen institutional capacity. (a). Recommendations for practitioners The revised propositions may be validated through future research, yet they also may be of immediate use to practitioners and those promoting collaborative approaches. A number of recommendations can be offered to support more effective action by civil society organizations in to achieve development results their collaborative ventures with businesses. (i) Scan the environment before engaging with business. Consider adversarial and collaborative strategies. Key factors in the political, economic, and social environment are underconsidered in current approaches to civil society collaboration with business. Significant results appear more likely where factors such as favorable legislation, democratic governance, and active social pressure motivate companies to collaborate with CSOs. Businesses in relatively well-established industrial sectors, such as Brazil, South Africa, and India, may have more surplus with which to collaborate. When these environmental factors are not present, it may make more sense to seek international or public sector funding. Moreover, lessons may be learned from the environmental domain, which has gone through phases of engagement, from adversarial to collaborative (Murphy & Bendell, 1997). Collective organization and advocacy may be a surprisingly effective strategy for fostering collaboration between individual CSOs and businesses. Once an enabling environment is created, CSOs may negotiate with businesses from more powerful bargaining positions. (ii) Clarify rationale for collaboration. Consider philanthropic and strategic partnerships. Fit development models and sectors to business-friendly approaches. The cases suggest that it is important to keep choices about the form of collaboration open and related to reasons for collaborating across sectors. When CSOs are searching for financial resources to support their programs, philanthropy remains a viable if not preferable choice. In cases where CSOs are seeking to strengthen their own internal market-oriented management practices or co-develop market-based solutions to development problems, strategic partnerships are better options. Where they are needed, CSOs may search for intermediary organizations and social ties that will facilitate appropriate linkages and forms of collaboration for the CSO rationales. Finally, proponents and CSOs leaders may wish to acknowledge that pursuing development through social mobilization may not interest business partners. More appropriate candidates for collaboration are CSOs or CSO programs geared to promoting development through capacity building interventions in sectors valued by businesses such as education and employment generation. (iii) Consider government as a partner. In practice, collaborative strategies between Southern CSOs and businesses appears to be a response to the implementation of neoliberal policies such as privatization and liberalization. Although proponents of neoliberal policies argue that the role of the state can be replaced by voluntary private initiatives such as collaboration between CSOs and businesses, these cases suggest that the state remains a critically important actor. The state's role in creating a democratic environment and passing legislation that enables collaboration has been discussed. In addition, the state itself often appears to be an important partner in collaborative ventures that achieve scale and sustainability. Where the state is influenced to serve public purposes, its countrywide institutional capacity and social service commitments can be mobilized to strengthen collaborative ventures. (iv) Value CSO resources and communicate benefits to business partners. The evidence that more significant impacts tended to be achieved in cases where control was balanced effectively between civil society and business partners speaks volumes about the importance of creating interorganizational arrangements that foster shared control. Many elements of designing effective arrangements are already addressed in existing literature on interorganizational collaboration. The most important insight emerging from this study is the critical importance of the resources that CSOs bring to collaborative ventures involving communities and marginalized social groups. Where these resources are valued, both partners encourage CSO influence in important design and implementation decisions, which in turn leads to more successful development results. CSOs tend to have better expertise in social services, such as education or programming for retirees, and better knowledge of the realities faced by individuals and communities in trying to gain services. CSOs often have better relationships with communities, marginalized groups, and the social leaders working with them to improve their lives. In contrast to business management, social service delivery often involves managerial skills that foster process over immediate product, responsiveness to clients, and stretching scarce and uncertain resources to cover as many needs as possible. CSOs need to get better at articulating and demonstrating these resources, and businesses need to be more aware of their own needs for CSO resources, as in the South Africa housing and Brazil education improvement projects. (v) Adopt a long-term orientation and practice joint learning. CSOs need to be aware that collaborating with businesses tends to pull them into the market. In the short term, they may experience sector-based cultural conflicts, major changes in managerial practices, and need to develop new structures and strategies that they had not anticipated. A long-term view would see these experiences as investments in adapting the CSO to build its capacity in collaborating with businesses and market-oriented donors. Building in opportunities for joint learning to the implementation and evaluation of collaborative activities can lead to major shifts in partners' understanding and behaviors, as some of the cases with corporate foundations in Brazil and the South African housing project demonstrate. Other research on collaboration suggests that forums for joint learning need not take significant time and resources, yet can produce highly productive results over time (Lewis, 1998; Brown & Ashman, 1996). (b). Implications for future practice-grounded research The study raises a number of questions and issues for future research. First is revising the conceptual frameworks from a level of analysis focusing on the organizations to one that includes the development processes that they are working to achieve. Current models of collaboration are too narrow in focusing only on dimensions associated with the organizations and their relationship to each other (mutual benefits, strategic/philanthropic, etc.). This study suggests that certain factors in the environment are critical (legislation, public opinion, etc.) and that development impacts can be analyzed according to important dimensions such as scale and sustainability. In future research, relevant development models should be integrated with collaboration models. Research protocols for case analysis should include questions derived from these models that focus on relevant aspects of the collaborative venture's development processes and impacts. A more integrated approach will lead to the development of better knowledge about appropriate development models for civil society–business collaboration. Second, the proposition that government is an important actor in civil society–business collaboration should be a central pillar of conceptual frameworks. Neoliberal policy thinking remains dominant, but is widely challenged in the South (Gore, 2000). Evidence from cases such as these discounts the notion that the state can be replaced by so-called voluntary private initiatives. Future research investigating the roles of government in collaborative ventures could provide the basis for alternative policy frameworks that strengthen the role of the state in fostering sustainable development for all. The third question concerns appropriate populations and sampling procedures. By analyzing cases of civil society collaboration from the global South, different findings emerged as compared to the existing body of research based in North America and Europe. At the same time, the cases represented the relatively industrialized countries in each of the three regions, Brazil in South America, India in South Asia, and South Africa in sub-Saharan Africa. Future comparative research should select cases in countries representing a range of economic conditions relating to levels of industrialization and nationally owned private enterprise. Finally, international research should continue to link with collaborative action. All of the cases were first-time ventures for at least one of the partners, involving significant challenges and learning. They were created to solve immediate problems or take advantage of opportunities, rather than strategically cooperate with the other sector. Linking on-going experiments with facilitated learning has the potential to advance the field more rapidly than separate arenas of research and practice. The study serves as a useful reminder to Northern experts that models developed in isolation from Southern knowledge and experience are typically not appropriate. Future international research would be strengthened by better opportunities for Southern researchers to drive research agendas, comparative analyses and writing up of research results.