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Engaging Employees in Corporate Social Responsibility Projects—A Case Study from the Lufthansa Group Showcasing Experiences and Lessons Gathered in Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Columbia

  • Jens M. UngerEmail author
  • Johannes M. Luetz
Chapter
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)

Abstract

Social responsibility and sustainable development are concepts of growing interest to the corporate sector, including in the so-called developing world. Although the benefits are manifold and typically include mutual learning, innovation, humanitarian engagement, intercultural exchange, new markets, and effective theory-praxis integration that is aligned with the idea of giving back to the community there is a dearth of research studies featuring the practical outworking of actual cases in a comprehensive, analytical and critical manner. To address this gap in the literature the study employs an exploratory methodological approach examining the Impact Week, a Lufthansa Group CSR program aimed at progressing entrepreneurship, innovation, and intercultural exchange that systematically engages employees as part of an internal qualification program. Data from projects in Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Columbia showed long-term local effects both on a program as well as an individual level of analysis. Findings further indicate that engaging employees in CSR practice has the potential of making organizations more meaningful and thus positively impacting organizational culture and attracting new talents. A human centric as opposed to a utilitarian orientation among stakeholders emerged as an important factor for the longevity and sustainability of CSR practice. Results are relevant to stakeholders interested in learning how social responsibility and sustainability may be enhanced in organizational practice.

Keywords

Sustainability Social responsibility Lufthansa Group Entrepreneurship Innovation Social capital Impact week 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Our special thanks go to all professional and corporate volunteers as well as all local hosts for dedicating their time and effort to the IW programs. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Michael Huebl, co-founder of the IW, to Church in Action for all logistic support and to all sponsors and partners who made this project and research possible by providing funds and expertise. Our special thanks go to Julia Wenzel for providing important qualitative content for the study and for her feedback on earlier versions of the manuscript as well as to Jan Wessel for the evaluation of IW Kigali. We also thank all photographers including Thomas Ade, Jason Terschueren, and Jens Stapelfeldt for their photographic material. Finally, we wish to thank Kirsty Andersen for her copy-editorial support, and Susanne Kotysch, Monika Ruehl, Gregor Preis for providing information on Lufthansa Group CSR and the help alliance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lufthansa Group, Lufthansa Aviation CenterFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.CHC Higher EducationBrisbane, CarindaleAustralia
  3. 3.University of New South Wales (UNSW)SydneyAustralia

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