Doing Better by Doing Good: A Qualitative Study on the Pro Bono Projects of Management Consulting Companies in Sweden
Sammanfattning: Pro bono engagement has for centuries been a natural practice in the lawyer industry. Recently, the phenomenon has spread to other sectors, such as medicine, marketing, advertising, accounting - and management consulting. The impact management consulting companies can create on pro bono projects is enormous. Yet, many NGOs still struggle with optimizing their efficiency in order to be able to address the challenges humanity faces today. Despite this importance, the phenomenon is still under-researched. This thesis aims to shed some light on the topic and map out organizational motivation to engage in pro bono projects through the lens of stakeholder theory and employee engagement theory. We found that the primary reason for conducting pro bono projects by management consulting companies was dictated by significant pressure from employees, followed by the positive business outcomes management associates with pro bono engagement. The strong interplay between stakeholder theory and employee engagement theory describes the stakeholder pressures companies navigate through and clarifies mechanisms companies use to maintain and develop relationships with existing and potential customers while offering employees meaningful engagement and opportunities to develop. We also concluded that the perception of benefits by management consulting companies played a more essential role than actual proof for the business case of pro bono. This study will enable managers to make more informed decisions regarding their pro bono engagement as well as contribute more broadly to the stakeholder and employee engagement literature with industry-specific insights.
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