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Partnerships for Development: Four Models of Business Involvement

  • Ananya Mukherjee Reed
  • Darryl ReedEmail author
Article

Abstract

Over the last two decades there has been a proliferation of partnerships between business and government, multilateral bodies, and/or social actors such as NGOs and local community organizations engaged in promoting development. While proponents hail these partnerships as an important new approach to engaging business, critics argue that they are not only generally ineffective but also serve to legitimate a neo-liberal, global economic order which inhibits development. In order to understand and evaluate the role of such partnerships, it is necessary to appreciate their diversity with respect to not only the activities that they engage in, but also the degree to which they are subject to social control. This paper distinguishes four different types of business partnerships, based upon differing degrees of social control: conventional business; corporate social responsibility; corporate accountability; and social economy. Each type of partnership is described, their basic forms are noted, and the conditions and prospects for them contributing to development are examined. By way of conclusion, an analysis is offered of how the different types of business partnerships relate to different conceptions of development and function as policy paradigms to promote different globalization agendas.

Keywords

corporate social responsibility corporate accountability social economy development co-operatives global compact partnerships 

Abbreviations

CAP

corporate accountability partnership

CBP

conventional business partnership

CSRP

corporate social responsibility partnership

ETI

Ethical Trading Initiative

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

FLA

Fair Labor Association

FLO

Fair Labelling Organization

FSC

Forest Stewardship Council

FWF

Fair Wear Foundation

ICA

International Cooperative Alliance

ICC

International Chamber of Commerce

IFI

International Financial Institution

ILO

International Labour Organization

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

MDGs

Millennium Development Goals

NGO

Non-governmental organization

NSMD

non-state market-driven initiative

OECD

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

SEP

social economy partnership

SEWA

Self-Employed Women’s Association

TNC

transnational corporation

UCIRI

Unión de Comunidades indígenas de la Regiódel Istmo (Union of Indigenous Communities of the Region of the Isthmus)

UNCED

United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development

UNDP

United Nations Development Program

UNGC

United Nations Global Compact

WBCSD

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

WCED

World Commission on Environment and Development

WRC

Workers Rights Consortium

WSF

World Social Forum

WSSD

World Summit on Sustainable Development

WRAP

Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production

SAI

Social Accountability International

WTO

World Trade Organization

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Division of Social ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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