A Qualitative Embedded Case Study to Explore the Influence of Shared Value Creation on the Integration of Corporate Sustainability at Horticoop B.V.
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The literature base on the integration of Corporate Sustainability (CS) can be divided in a theoretical perspective on firm-specific processes and an organizational collaboration perspective. An emerging type of collaboration is Shared Value Creation (SVC). Literature on SVC shows potential links between SVC and integration of CS. This thesis explores the question how SVC influences the integration of CS in an organization, thus aimed at exploring this link. Three imperatives from SVC theory are explored, being the inclusion of stakeholders outside the traditional boundaries of the value chain (I1), a scope for creating triple bottom line (TBL) value that includes economic, social and environmental dimensions (I2) and the co-creation of products/services in this sustainable value chain (I3). Integration items (i.e. activities, thoughts, interactions and outcomes) that emerge from these three imperatives are assessed on their successfulness of integration using a holistic organizational framework. In the organization Horticoop B.V., three collaboration projects that signify the three imperatives are explored in an embedded case study design. Findings of this research suggest that SVC negatively influence the integration of CS, because of three reasons. First, integration items that emerged from broadening the value chain (I1) lack integration in the organizational culture. Second, items that emerged from creating TBL value (I2) were not successfully integrated in the organizational learning dimension, because I2 items lacked monitoring and improvement steps in the PDCA cycle. Third, items that emerged from co-creation of new products and services (I3) lacked successful integration in the organizational structure and in the TBL. Possible explanations for the unsuccessful integration of CS for SVC items can be lack of awareness in organizations, a limited scope for creating value or lack of adoption of indicators related to ecological and social value creation. More empirical research on how integration items and imperatives influence each other is needed to support these claims.