Networking for a Sustainable Future? A qualitative study about the couplings between member organisations and CSR-networks
The increasing focus on social and environmental issues has led to a rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) networks. Studies on CSR-networks have different explanations for the effects of participation in such networks, but has largely ignored to explore how the strength of couplings between the participating organisations and the network shape these effects. This study aims to address this gap based on a qualitative case study of a Swedish CSR-network and loose coupling literature. Drawing on empirically identified multitudes of couplings, we suggest that there are four ‘ideal types’ of members in CSR-networks: the Disconnected, the Social, the Selling, and the Knowledge Seeker. We then show that these ideal types experience different effects of participation in CSR-networks with the Knowledge Seeker experiencing the most immediate practical effects, the Social mostly gaining immediate emotional effects, the Selling mostly experiencing practical effects and the Disconnected getting no effects. We conclude the thesis by discussing the implications of these findings for what participation in CSR-networks means for the four ideal types of members.
MSc in Management