Inspiring action, building understanding: how cross-sector partnership engages business in addressing global challenges

Business Ethics 22 (1):47-63 (2013)

Existing research highlights the role of partnerships between business and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in addressing poverty, climate change, disease and other challenges. But less is known about how such partnerships may also challenge our very understanding of the nature of those problems. This paper draws on Habermas' theoretical ideas about communicative action and deliberative democracy, applying them to an ethnographic study of Concern Universal, an international NGO with a particular focus on working collaboratively with business. The focus of the study is the seam between two apparently different ‘worlds’, along which alternating processes of ‘colonisation’ and resistance are played out. Partnership emerges as an arena for both instrumental and communicative encounters, in which slow progress is occasionally punctuated by leaps in partners' understanding of both themselves and the challenges they seek to address. As such, despite the evolutionary ambitions of participants, partnership emerges as a potential catalyst of social change
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DOI 10.1111/beer.12006
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Stakeholder Theory: A Deliberative Perspective.Ulf Henning Richter & Kevin E. Dow - 2017 - Business Ethics: A European Review 26 (4):428-442.
Gender and Governance in Developing Economies.Charlotte M. Karam, Beverly Dawn Metcalfe & Fida Afiouni - 2018 - Business Ethics: A European Review 27 (4):287-293.

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