HEC MONTRÉAL. Jonathan Colombo. Science in Administration (Management) - PDF

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HEC MONTRÉAL Two Essays about Community Engagement by Jonathan Colombo Science in Administration (Management) Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science

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HEC MONTRÉAL Two Essays about Community Engagement by Jonathan Colombo Science in Administration (Management) Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Administration March 2012 Jonathan Colombo, 2012 i ABSTRACT Community engagement has emerged as a significant business practice over the last decades. It is broadly defined as the process implemented by companies to work collaboratively with and for individual citizens and geographically defined community groups to address issues affecting their social well-being. This thesis, based on two essays, explores two issues related to community engagement. First, I explore the existence of multiple and contrasting understandings of the concept of community; and second, I examine the roles that government can assume, and how this influences interactions between business and society. In the paper Community and Community Development: Conceptual Clarifications, I propose conceptual clarifications of the definition of community. Moreover, after identifying the major differences and similarities between the sociological definition of community and society, and the interpretation of community in the field of management studies, I contrast the notions of development in and development of community. I invite managers to better understand what a community is and how their companies can contribute to its development before engaging in this endeavor. With this in mind, it is expected that managers will be able to define practices that can establish a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship while contributing to the development and empowerment of communities. In the paper Government, Businesses and Communities: exploring a process of Framed Empowerment written with Emmanuel Raufflet, we describe a process of community framed empowerment. This oxymoron refers to the ambiguous situation in which corporate-community engagement outcomes are fenced in by governmental definitions, according to the role assumed by the government. This discussion is based on the analysis of Projeto Diálogo, a community ii engagement process conceived and developed by the promoters of a hydro power plant in the Marabá area in northern Brazil. A detailed examination of this project shows that conflicting government functions can be a source of ambiguity for companies when exercising corporate citizenship. The two papers are followed by a discussion and proposals for future research topics. Keywords: definition of community, roles of government, community development, community engagement, framed empowerment, Corporate Social Responsibility. iii RÉSUMÉ L'engagement communautaire a émergé comme une pratique de gestion importante au cours des dernières décennies. Il est largement défini comme le processus mis en œuvre par les entreprises pour travailler en collaboration avec et pour des individus et des groupes communautaires délimités géographiquement afin de traiter de questions qui touchent à leur bien-être social. Ce mémoire, qui repose sur deux articles, aborde deux questions liées à l'engagement communautaire. D'abord, j aborde l existence de multiples interprétations de la notion de communauté et, deuxièmement, j examine le rôle de l État et son influence sur les interactions entre les entreprises et la société. Mon article Community and Community Development: Conceptual Clarifications propose des clarifications conceptuelles de la notion de «communauté». Par ailleurs, après avoir identifié des différences et similitudes entre la définition de communauté dans le domaine des études en gestion et en sociologie, je contraste les notions de développement dans et de la communauté. Le document invite les gestionnaires à mieux comprendre ce qu'est une communauté et comment leurs entreprises peuvent contribuer au développement communautaire, avant de s'engager dans une telle démarche. Avec cette compréhension, les gestionnaires seront mieux outiller pour définir les pratiques qui permettront un engagement avec la communauté à long terme, dans une relation qui soit bénéfique pour toutes les parties, et qui contribue au développement et à l autonomisation (empowerment) de la communauté. Dans l'article Government, Businesses and Communities: exploring a process of Framed Empowerment publié avec Emmanuel Raufflet, nous décrivons un processus d'autonomisation communautaire encadré. Cet oxymoron décrit la situation ambiguë dans laquelle les résultats de l engagement entre les iv entreprises et les communautés sont confinés par des directives gouvernementales, selon le rôle assumé par l État. Cette discussion est basée sur l'analyse de Projeto Diálogo, un processus d'engagement communautaire élaboré et mandaté par les promoteurs d'une centrale hydroélectrique dans la région de Marabá au nord du Brésil. Une analyse détaillée de ce projet démontre que les rôles contradictoires de l État peuvent être une source d'ambiguïté pour les entreprises lors de l'exercice de la citoyenneté corporative. Les deux articles sont suivis par une discussion et des pistes de recherche. Mots-clés : définition de communauté, rôles de l État, développement communautaire, engagement communautaire, autonomisation encadrée, Responsabilité Societale des Entreprises. v RESUMO O envolvimento comunitário (community engagement) emergiu como uma prática significativa de negócios nas últimas décadas. Tal atividade corresponde ao processo implementado por empresas com o objetivo de trabalhar para e em colaboração com indivíduos e comunidades definidas geograficamente em torno de questões que afetam bem-estar social destes. A presente tese, baseada em dois artigos sobre envolvimento comunitário, explora as seguintes questões fundamentais: em primeiro lugar, discute-se a existência de múltiplas interpretações do conceito de comunidade ; e posteriormente, examina-se o papel do governo e sua influência nas interações entre as empresas e a sociedade. No artigo Community and Community Development: conceptual clarifications, são propostos esclarecimentos conceituais sobre a definição de comunidade . Além disto, o artigo ressalta semelhanças e diferenças na definição de comunidade no campo de estudos de gestão e da sociologia, e salienta a diferença entre as noções de desenvolvimento na comunidade e desenvolvimento da comunidade. O texto convida gestores a melhor compreender o que é uma comunidade e como as empresas podem contribuir para o desenvolvimento comunitário, antes de investirem neste processo. À partir desta compreensão, os gestores estarão mais bem equipados para definir práticas e ações que lhes permitirão estabelecer uma relação de longo prazo com a comunidade, que contribua para o desenvolvimento e autonomização (empowerment) desta e que seja benéfica para todas as partes. No artigo Government, Businesses and Communities: exploring a process of Framed Empowerment co-redigido com Emmanuel Raufflet, é descrito um processo de autonomização engessada. Este oximoro refere-se à situação ambígua onde os resultados do envolvimento empresa-comunidade são restringidos por diretrizes governamentais, de acordo com o papel assumido vi pelo governo. Esta discussão tem como base a análise do Projeto Diálogo, um processo de comunicação social concebido e executado pelos promotores da usina hidrelétrica de Marabá, no estado do Pará, Brasil. A análise detalhada do projeto revela que o fato do governo assumir papéis conflitantes pode ser uma fonte de ambigüidade para as empresas no exercício de cidadania corporativa. Os dois artigos são seguidos por uma conclusão e de sugestões para pesquisas futuras. Palavras-chave: definição de comunidade, papel do governo, desenvolvimento comunitário, envolvimento comunitário, autonomização engessada (framed empowerment), Responsabilidade Social Empresarial vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS It is with great pleasure that I thank those who made this thesis possible. It is difficult to overstate my gratitude to Emmanuel Raufflet, director, co-author and friend, for his great insights and guidance. I also am indebted to Jean-Pascal Gond and Luciano Barin-Cruz for their valuable contributions in reviewing my thesis manuscript. Their comments and suggestion were instrumental in the creation of this version of the thesis. I would like to express my gratitude to the Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire en développement durable (GRIDD-HEC) for its financial aid for the writing of my first paper; and to Patrick Tobin, from Rio Tinto Alcan, for the support to the field research, which results have been partially used to develop the second paper. Thanks to all of my professors for their teachings, to all how revised my writing and helped me to get back in track, as well as to the staff and the team of librarians at HEC for their kind assistance. Thanks to all my friends who became my surrogate family during my odyssey in Quebec, a place that now thanks to them, I can call home. Very special thanks to my dear parents and entire family who have been a constant source of emotional and moral support, despite the geographical distance... and thanks to Skype for shortening this distance. Lastly, and most importantly, I wish to thank my wife and best friend Lia who always encouraged me to challenge myself, and without whom this thesis, as well as many other things in my live, would never have been made possible. viii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract... i Résumé... iii Resumo... v Acknowledgements... vii Table of Contents... viii List of figures and tables... ix FOREWORD... 1 PAPER 1 - COMMUNITY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS Abstract Introduction Community, according to Tönnies and Selznick Community in the field of management studies Community Development Discussion PAPER 2 - GOVERNMENT, BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES: EXPLORING A PROCESS OF FRAMED EMPOWERMENT Abstract Introduction Section 1: Government, Business and Society in developing countries Section 2: Case study and research methodology Section 3: Micro-strategies of community engagement Conclusion, discussion and implications DISCUSSION AND AVENUES FOR FUTURE RESEARCH Discussion Avenues for future research... 90 ix LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES FOREWORD figure 1 The structure of the thesis... 7 PAPER 1 COMMUNITY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS table 1 table 2 table 3 Seven interacting variables for the conception of a community (based on Selznick 1994) the major differences and similarities between the sociological definition of community and society, and the managerial interpretation of community... (based on Tönnies 1988 and Selznick 1994; 2008, and on Bowen et al. 2008, Theodori 2005 and Waddell 2005) Principles, from an interactional perspective that underlie the process of community development (based on Wilkinson 1991 and and Theodori 2005) PAPER 2 GOVERNMENT, BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES: EXPLORING A PROCESS OF FRAMED EMPOWERMENT table 1 List of interviews conducted.. 58 table 2 Projeto Diálogo: Chronology table 3 Claimed and framed empowerment table 4 Illustrations of coding for Going native table 5 Illustrations of coding for Predefining scope of conversations table 6 Illustrations of coding for Providing information 78 table 7 Illustrations of coding for Bringing peace... 79 1 FOREWORD If the structure does not permit dialogue, the structure must be changed. Paulo Freire Over the last decades, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), an ongoing corporate social commitment to balance the economic objectives of business with greater social objectives, is gaining a lot of attention from researchers and practitioners (Carroll & Shabana, 2010; Dahlsrud, 2008; WBCSD, 2000). However, this concept is currently at a threshold; dividing its future between remaining a limited group of managerial tools or becoming a set of valuable practices to promote the public good, create shared value and generate a meaningful net contribution to the sustainability of business and society (Castill, 2005; Porter & Kramer, 2011). One CSR area of application, commonly understood as the process implemented by companies to work collaboratively with and for individual citizens and community groups to address issues affecting their social well-being, concerns community engagement (Bowen, Newenham-Kahindi, & Herremans, 2010; Fawcett et al., 1995; Hall & Carolina, 2006; Scantlebury, 2003; Schoch-Spana, Franco, Nuzzo, & Usenza., 2007; Tindana et al., 2007). Like CSR, community engagement means many things to many people. 2 For academics such as Bowen et al (2008), such type of stakeholder engagement is described as a set of processes by which a focal organization engages in a wealthcreating process for a significant period of time with a specific community defined by its locality. Community engagement as a mean of evaluating community needs, finding solutions and creating opportunities contributes towards community development (Muthuri, Chapple, & Moon, 2009). According to Muthuri (2007), community development is neither the distinct prerogative of governments nor of businesses but rather the responsibility of all societal actors to collaborate in solving complex social problems, creating new opportunities in the process, and attending to the institutions within which these governing activities take place. On the other hand, for practitioners community engagement is seen as a corporatecommunity relationship and a key initiative to manage corporate social impact, to develop and enhance societal legitimacy, to obtain or retain a business license to operate, to secure operational success and even to ensure a company s long-term survival (Aguilera, Rupp, Williams, & Ganapathi, 2007; Bansal & Roth, 2000; Bowen, et al., 2008; Ernst & Young, 2011; Skåra, 2003; Veleva, 2010; Welcomer, Cochran, Rands, & Haggerty, 2003). Being consistent with the company's business strategy and part of its strategic CSR approach, a community engagement process is expected to help achieve social and economic benefits simultaneously for both company and for society (Boehe, Barin-Cruz, & Ogasavara, 2010; Husted & De Jesus Salazar, 2006; Porter & Kramer, 2006). In practice, community engagement methods include philanthropy, employee volunteering, training and technical assistance, reporting, definition of policies, dialogue and joint decision-making (Andrews, 3 Cowell, Downe, & Martin, 2006; Bowen, et al., 2010; Chappell, 2008; Corporate Citizenship, 2010; Gelmon, Seifer, Kauper-Brown, & Mikkelsen, 2005; GRI 2008; Johnson, 2010). All in all, community engagement, perceived as vital initiatives and investments for the establishment of a cordial relationship between responsible companies and their host communities (Eweje, 2006), are processes that can bring substantive social improvement for the communities (Bowen, et al., 2008; Zandvliet & Anderson, 2009); and, thus, contribute to their development (Muthuri, et al., 2009). Yet, it is still not clear when and how to implement community engagement processes and even what measures and methods of measurement are appropriate, accurate or legitimate (Bowen, et al., 2008). Two factors to consider are: (1) the multiple, ambiguous understandings of community and (2) the role of the government and its influence in business and society interactions. Several authors communities (Bansal, 2005; Bowen, et al., 2008; Muthuri, 2007; Zandvliet & Anderson, 2009) have highlighted the limited concern displayed by managers in preparing the relations with communities early on. This includes not clearly identifying the specificities of communities they are willing to engage with, or not clearly recognizing their role as community developers or as facilitators of enhanced community well-being. In other words, despite the emergence of community engagement and development as fields of practice for corporations 4 operating in a local milieu, the concept of community and the form of development intended still remain vague. Another often overlooked issue is the role of government and its influence on interactions between business and society. Through a comprehensive set of specific policies prescribed in the public interest (Geller, Schaeffer, Szklo, & Tolmasquim, 2004; Mitnick, 1989) as a potential antidote to profit motives (Kurland & Zell, 2011) or as a stimulus to substantive improvements in corporate behavior and performance (Vogel, 2010), governments have various impacts on a nation's economic health. Governments can promote conditions for economic development (Rostow, 1955a, 1955b), determine national competitive advantage (Pasquero, 2000), affect competitive dynamics within markets (Porter, 1990), and shape the very nature of the corporation itself (Coen, Grant, & Wilson, 2010). This interventionist role of the government has often translated into the promotion and implementation, most often along with the private sector, of large-scale development schemes and infrastructure projects, such as hydro power plants (Scott, 1998; Selznick, 1949; Tinbergen, 1967). On the other hand, assuming that market failures or competitiveness may distribute incomes in socially unacceptable ways and leave individuals and groups in situations of social and economic exclusion or low participation (World Bank, 1997, p. 26), government is therefore expected to promote fairness and justice, especially when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable groups in society. As a major societal actor, governments not only influence but also fence in corporate-community relations, according to which role governments assume and promote. 5 To identify corporate strategies that contribute to the development and empowerment of communities and to the establishment of a long-term mutually beneficial relationship between business and society, corporations would benefit from understanding the domain they share with community and government. Managers could gain from an improved understanding of the sociological concept of a community; while also grasping the different roles a government can assume and what the resulting consequences could be. To summarize, as promoters of community engagement initiatives, managers would benefit from understanding the role of all stakeholders, and the relations among them, prior to engaging in this endeavor. To support this argument, this master thesis is organized around two journal articles: Community and Community Development: conceptual clarifications, and Government, businesses and communities: exploring a process of framed empowerment. Community and Community Development: conceptual clarifications. The first article was published in the Innovation-RICEC Review, vol 3, n. 1, 2011, contributing to the discussion on the need to enhance synergies between scientific actors and those in the governmental and production sectors, when considering economic and social and environmental issues. In this article, I propose conceptual clarifications of the definition of community. Moreover, after identifying the major differences and similarities between the sociological definition of community and society, and the interpretation of 6 community in the field of management studies, I contrast the notions of development in and development of community. To conclude, the paper invites managers to better understand what a community is and how their companies can contribute to its development before engaging in this endeavor. Government, Businesses and Communities: exploring a process of Framed Empowerment The second article, written with Emmanuel Raufflet, was submitted in November, 2011 for the Business & Society 2013 special issue The Role of Governments in the Business and Society Debate, devoted to exploring the role of governments in promoting a holistic approach to the solution of social and environ
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