Corporate philanthropy research: On the value of the recipient actor, time and narrative analysis
Love, T. (2014) Corporate philanthropy research: On the value of the recipient actor, time and narrative analysis. In: International Association for Business and Society Annual Meeting (IABS) 2014, 19 - 22 June 2014, Sydney, Australia
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Ostensibly, modern corporate philanthropy involves a business corporation’s commitment to humanity and as such represents a broad philosophy of business social engagement. Definitions of corporate philanthropy, while seldom acknowledged (Gautier and Pache 2013), often rely on quite vague and contestable features such as the desire to promote the wellbeing of humankind (Saiia, 2001), to give for defined beneficial social purposes (Leisinger, 2007), to support a non-profit cause or organization (Wymer, 2006), or simply to help others (Adamonienė & Astromskienė, 2010). In general there is a common ground that is broadly understood as a corporation’s desire to “... share their largesse with the larger society around them” (Burlingame & Young, 1996, p.xi).
While these definitions are usefully unrestrained for exploratory studies, they are symptomatic of research that is ‘giver-centric’ and ‘un-balanced’ in orientation, maintaining the problematic perception that corporate philanthropy is, and should continue to be, less about collaboration, relationship, and partnership than about business intent and strategy. Understandably, qualitative methods for such investigations have received little attention. Intended to be a Discussion Idea, this paper requests feedback from the IABS community on the value of the recipient actor and narrative analysis to corporate philanthropy research.
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