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ERIC Number: ED533195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 330
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-6430-3
Who Benefits? A Comparison of School-Firm Partnerships in Chicago and Berlin
Muhlenberg, Elisabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
Companies and schools in different types of market economies face a dilemma. Public schools are performing poorly at a time when companies need better skilled employees to compete globally. The trend toward greater participation of companies in the public schools is a consequence of this dilemma. It poses the question: "What are the implications of an increasing business engagement in public education?" The question is important empirically and theoretically: empirically, because there is currently little data on the consequences of business involvement at the individual school and company level. It is important theoretically, because Corporate Citizenship, the umbrella under which companies undertake their social engagements, must resolve the inherent paradox of how to maximize a company's profits while contributing to social projects. The ideal types of a liberal (U.S.) and a coordinated (Germany) market economy together with different education systems provide the institutional framework in which variable partnership characteristics are embedded. This qualitative study approaches the research question innovatively by probing partnerships between individual schools and firms in Chicago and Berlin. The two cities are located in countries with different political, institutional and structural environments, but with similar problems of low educational performance. Through face-to-face, semi-structured, open-ended and face-to-face interviews I collected data on partnership motivations, goals and benefits from school-firm dyads as well as from intermediary organizations. Crucially and unusually, this study includes the perspectives of both sides when it compares the partnership characteristics, providing a more complete comparative assessment than is possible when only one side is examined. My research finds that in Chicago and Berlin Corporate Citizenship initiatives of individual firms in individual public schools intertwine strategic/profit-maximizing goals with social goals. In a liberal market economy with an education system that supports general skills, partnership goals and benefits are very broad and include social benefits. In a coordinated market economy with industry-specific skills educational goals, partnership goals and benefits are focused on the school-to-work transition. I find that static or dynamic reciprocity is central for making partnerships work. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; Illinois