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Social Responsibility within Brussels Municipalities: An Exploratory Study

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  • Odisee - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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... This paper contributes to the growth of the academic literature on the emerging topic of SR in public sector organizations (Dentchev et al. 2018;Dumay et al. 2010;Kappo-Abidemi and Ogujiuba 2020;Navarro-Galera et al. 2014;Vázquez and Lanero 2016). Specifically, we investigated the implementation of SR in universities' medium-long-term planning processes, applying the content analysis technique to a selected sample of 20 strategic plans issued by public large and mega Italian universities. ...
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This paper examines the degree of social responsibility integration in Italian public universities’ medium and long-term planning documents. We adopted a qualitative approach, applying the content analysis technique to a selected sample of 20 strategic plans issued by Italian large and mega universities. The coding instrument was developed considering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contained in the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Therefore, we identified 17 categories and 103 key symbols. The analysis undertaken showed that to date, Italian public universities still pay little attention in their planning documents to objectives regarding the multiple dimensions of Social Responsibility, mainly in relation to environmental issues, a failure detrimental to University Social Responsibility implementation and achievement. However, there is a greater sensitivity to Social Responsibility issues in some universities’ planning documents, therefore also more mature practices can be identified, showing universities that have institutionalized the concept of sustainability in their planning documents.
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Institutional contexts influence structures and processes of any organizational system. Most of the research on cross-sector partnerships (CSSPs) has focused on their internal performance, methods, and effectiveness; however, the institutional contexts that allow or inhibit their development have been limitedly assessed. Many local CSSPs address sustainability issues, and this research explores Barcelona + Sustainable’s and Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s institutional contexts at the local, national, and international levels. Interviews were conducted with the leaders of the partnerships and responses were assessed using Scott’s (1995) institutional pillars. Findings show the cultural-cognitive and normative institutional elements of context as the most relevant for local sustainability CSSPs, with regulatory elements not existing at the national level nor cultural-cognitive at the international scale. More importantly, results highlight trust, diversity, communication channels, sense of place, changing perceptions, and coopetition as key learnings to be considered for other partnerships in their design. Finally, with cultural-cognitive and normative elements speaking of the power of local features, it is these partnerships the ones influencing others beyond their scopes of action, with the potential of leading sustainability even further. However, associated activities and resources to provide stability and meaning to sustainability partnerships must be satisfied for that to happen.
... The applicability of the concept of CSR beyond traditional business has been debated as CSR extends to other organizational forms such as small and medium enterprises (e.g., Amaeshi et al., 2016), public organizations (e.g., Dentchev, Eiselein, & Kayaert, 2018), and NPOs (e.g., Pope et al., 2018). As such, scholarly activity now includes various organizational settings despite the "corporate" limitation in the terminology used. ...
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