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Battisti, M. (2005). Corporate Citizenship as Social Capital The Building Bridges Project as a Model for the Promotion of Cooperation between Companies and Social Institutions. University of Innsbruck, PhD Thesis

PhD Programme in Psychology
University of Innsbruck, Austria

Supervisors: Prof. Wolfgang Weber, Prof. Heidi Möller

November 2005


As a result of changes in the labour market connected with on-going socio-political transformations, the welfare state is no longer able to fulfil its traditional mandate. The focus of debate has thus shifted to civil society, which aims to involve citizens more strongly in the design and realization of social structures. Similarly, companies are increasingly being called upon as corporate citizens to play an appropriate part, beyond their economic activities, in the creation and maintenance of functioning community structures. The project Building Bridges seeks to create a connection between two spheres of work and life that are often perceived as opposites. Through a week-long exchange of management personnel from companies and social institutions, the project aims to provide a mutual enrichment of experience and knowledge. The sociological question that arises from the Building Bridges project is whether and in what form this exchange leads to social engagement on the part of companies. This thesis investigates whether, alongside effects on the level of the individual, longer-term results can be observed that give rise to cooperation between companies and social institutions. The thesis approaches this problem through the application of qualitative methods. With the assistance of the methodological approach provided by hermeneutically-oriented depth psychology, both the relationship between experiences and the concrete interpretative moments that constitute a statement about these experiences and their relationships can be preserved. In this way, both the subjectively lived experiences of the participants and their repressed significance can be reconstructed. Finally, the results are discussed with reference to the theoretical concepts of corporate citizenship and social capital.


Battisti, Martina

Martina joined the New Zealand Centre for SME Research in 2007 as the principal researcher currently responsible for BusinesSMEasure and contract research. Prior to joining the New Zealand Centre for SME Research, she worked for four years as a researcher in the Department of Human Resource...


Massey University, Centre for research into small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

In most countries the SME sector makes an enormous contribution – in New Zealand, our 350,000 or so SMEs make up more than 99% of all businesses and account for about 60% of employment. The SME sector broadly covers micro-enterprises (fewer than 5 staff), small enterprises (6-49) and medium...

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