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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | Organization and Management | 2014
Thesis number: 13700
The role of a voluntary network in a company's CSR work
Author: Sarttila, Silja
Title: The role of a voluntary network in a company's CSR work
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; verkostot; networks; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management; yritysviestintä; business communication
Pages: 66
Key terms: CSR; networks; knowledge sharing
The goal of this research was to find out what is the role and meaning of a voluntary network in the development and implementation of single company's CSR strategy. By a voluntary network this thesis refers to a cluster of autonomous organizations that come together around a specific subject, in this case CSR. This research focused on finding and confirming causalities between the needs of the companies and operations of the network.

This thesis does not rely on one specific, ready-made theoretical model or framework. Instead it brings forth and applies relevant literature such as theory on knowledge sharing and network analysis. In the theory chapter also CSR and the institutional context of it is pondered upon. The institutional context of CSR is held as likely to create a need for outside support for a single organization - in this case in the form of a network.

Methodology-wise is research is a single case study. The data was gathered in the form of semi-constructed interviews. The interviewees were 7 active network members. The research data was analyzed by coding and by recognizing emerging themes and categories.

The central finding of this study is that a voluntary network offers support and access to information for a single organization. Also, the managers view the network as a safe forum to discuss about the challenges they face and appreciate the knowledge sharing possibilities. Network members often feel that they are quite alone with CSR issues and challenges and it has made them appreciate the network even more. Another finding of this thesis was the difficulty of measuring and verifying the outcomes and the effectiveness of the network's activities and operations.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.