Doing Buisiness in the Public Sector : The Cross-Sector Interactions Between CSR and Public Priorities in Denver

University essay from Umeå universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The aim of the thesis is to analyze local Corporate Social Responsibility and how this relates to local political priorities in Denver, Colorado to provide insights both in the US context but also in the midst of the Swedish debate regarding the role of private provision of welfare. The research questions are threefold: 1. Are private engagements addressing welfare issues as identified by the public sector?, 2. What is the interaction between public and private sector in social engagements in Denver? and 3. What expressions of a governance network prevails in the cross-sector interactions in social provisions in this case study? The empirical material used in this case study consist of data collected by conducting semi-structured interviews from Denver-based corporations and individuals working for the City and County of Denver. Theories of governance; network governance and interactive governance have been applied in structuring and in the analysis of the empirical data. The results indicate that due to the internal incapacity as a result of the fiscal- and spending restrictions of the public sector in the provision of social services, the public sector lacks the capacity in providing social services for the constituents. This has opened up for a need of nontraditional governance solutions which includes a dependence of private-sector provision of welfare. Furthermore, there are expressions which indicate that CSR does play a role in the local provision of social services by filling the gap of provision which is left as a result of the institutional incapacity of the public sector. However, there are indicators of large variations in the connectedness of the linkages within the network, varying from close connections and comanagement between CSR and public initiatives to activities expressed as the self-governance of corporations in the provision of social services, making top-down goal sharing such as incentives crucial for the public sector to get corporations to address local priorities. Keywords: governance, interactive governance, network governance, welfare provision, cross-sector, CSR

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