Partnerships for sustainability involve the cooperation of several direct and indirect stakeholders. Direct stakeholders are project partners who can include sponsoring brands, manufacturers or retailers; and sponsored sports clubs or social institutions, and indirect stakeholders relate to potential customers, the general public and government agencies. The knowledge and competencies of direct and indirect stakeholders are integrated to ensure common project-based sustainability and individual goals. This integration is essentially facilitated by image transfer and self-identification effects, which strengthen stakeholder commitment and trust, and ultimately contributing to a higher relationship quality. However, sustainability partnerships experience several challenges. The challenges lie in selecting suitable partners; formulating partner requirements; determining partner contributions; evaluating and controlling partner integration and, further, enhancing cooperation and relationship quality among selected partners. To attend to these challenges requires a holistic and systematic process for stakeholder integration in sustainability projects. In this chapter, a process model for stakeholder integration for sustainability projects is developed based on the relevant theoretical and empirical research on relationship and sustainability marketing. In particular, the possibilities of digital integration are taken into account in the process. The model can be used to manage co-creation partnerships for sustainability including the selection, evaluation and controlling of stakeholder relationships to derive strategies and measures to improve relationship quality.
Grunwald, G., Schwill, J. and Sassenberg, A.-M. (2022), "Managing Value Co-creation in Partnerships for Sustainability: Toward a Process Model for Stakeholder Integration", Ratten, V., Jones, P., Braga, V. and Parra-López, E. (Ed.) Artisan Entrepreneurship, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 99-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80262-077-120221011
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