The Collaborative Enterprise

Antonio Tencati, & Laszlo Zsolnai 'The Collaborative Enterprise.' Journal of Business Ethics, 2009, vol.85, no. 3, pp. 367-376

Instead of the currently prevailing competitive model, a more collaborative strategy is needed to address the concerns related to the unsustainability of today’s business. This article aims to explore collaborative approaches where enterprises seek to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with all stakeholders and want to produce sustainable values for their whole business ecosystem. Cases here analyzed demonstrate that alternative ways of doing business are possible.

These enterprises share more democratic ownership structures, more balanced and broader governance systems, and a more comprehensive view of organizational goals and performance – which goes beyond the narrow concept of financial bottom line and into a stronger and systematic care of the needs and requirements of the different stakeholder groups. Thanks to this evidence and different theoretical and empirical contributions, we suggest that the strength and sustainability of enterprises come from their ability to fit into the environmental, social, and cultural context in which they operate. By creating values for all stakeholders, enterprises can involve them and gain deep support based on their commitment. This may lead to superior performance from a multiple-bottom-line perspective. Tencati and Zsolnai Collaborative Enterprise.pdf