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Knowledge sharing relevance in social responsibility partnerships

Mariana Galvão Lyra (Department of History and Geography, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)
Ricardo Corrêa Gomes (Business Administration Studies Department, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasilia, Brazil)
Miriam Magdala Pinto (Industrial Engineering Department, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória, Brazil)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 13 February 2017




Corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments are often involved with civil society organizations (CSOs) through partnerships in order to develop projects. There are valuable exchanges and adaptation experiences involved in the process that goes beyond a project’s expected outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to show how knowledge sharing in a company’s CSO partnership occurs and explain the main drivers and the kind of value that could emerge from both sides.


The authors conducted a case study and analysed it according to its contribution by depicting the main drivers to boost knowledge sharing. The authors conducted interviews and supplemented them with documents and reports.


The study revealed learning issues from corporate and CSO sides. The authors found asymmetry in management education between companies and CSO employees. This study highlights the relevance of adjusting vocabulary to promote knowledge sharing benefits in partnerships. The presence of a “third party” in the partnership successfully helped management understand the importance of adjusting vocabulary to ease the project lifecycle flow.


The authors demonstrate how knowledge sharing as a CSR outcome improves managerial knowledge and boosts CSOs to seek opportunities for greater cooperation. The partnering possibilities become more apparent as a CSO learns how to deal with business, understands its vocabulary, context and interests. Additionally, corporate organizational learning relies on more knowledge about how CSOs operate and more information about the local community. Knowledge sharing efforts improve an organization’s commitment to develop social projects and improve the impact and legitimacy of CSR.



Lyra, M.G., Gomes, R.C. and Pinto, M.M. (2017), "Knowledge sharing relevance in social responsibility partnerships", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 129-138.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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