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Conclusion

In document Navigating a Humanitarian Crisis (Sider 66-70)

The main objective of this thesis has been to uncover if, and how, the role of the shipping industry has changed during the Mediterranean migration crisis. Because the problem is a grand challenge, and thus is characterized by great complexities and numerous social processes, the shipping industry cannot be studied in a vacuum. An understanding of how the diverse actors involved in the situation, have managed to cooperate has therefore also been an object of research. The investigation has built on the CC literature but has maintained an inductive nature, as this framework was unable to fully grasp the complexities of the case. Literature on collective institutional entrepreneurship was employed to understand what drivers facilitated cooperation between different actors.

The gap identified in the CC literature was addressed by incorporating the institutional environment as suggested by Pies et al. (2014). This proved to be significant for the analysis, as the institutional environment clearly shapes the responsibilities of the shipping industry, in terms of their legal obligations to assist in SAR. It further highlights the involuntary characteristic of the industry’s role in the migration crisis. The analysis of the findings thus found that the engagement was in fact involuntary, and that in order to fully understand the involvement of the industry a distinction between roles and responsibilities is necessary. The results illustrate that the responsibilities are de jure static while the roles are de facto dynamic, due to role ambiguity. This research thus suggests that a) it is important to make a distinction between roles and responsibilities, as roles changes due to role ambiguity and can thus be sustained or changed by employing various strategies. Responsibilities on the other hand are static, and can therefore not be influenced by actors, which further suggests that the strategies pursued to influence roles have to work within the (institutional) framework shaping the responsibilities, and b) CC is shaped by the institutional environment, as the legal institutional environment in terms of UNCLOS and SOLAS shape the responsibilities of the shipping industry in this case, and can in fact be involuntary, contrary to what the CC literature suggests. The theoretical implication of this finding is therefore that a fourth scenario could enhance Matten and Crane’s conceptualization of CC. Matten and Crane’s framework currently encompasses three scenarios, namely: Where government ceases to administer

citizenship rights, where government has not as yet administered citizenship rights, and where the administration of citizenship rights may be beyond the reach of the nation-state governments (Matten & Crane, 2005: 172). Adding a fourth scenario, namely that corporations can end up safeguarding citizenships due to role ambiguity, making them the actor of last resort, could therefore add explanatory power to the framework, as it allows for the understanding of how corporations involuntarily end up safeguarding citizenship.

The research moreover found that the literature on collective institutional entrepreneurship is relevant, and explains well the six endogenous drivers that facilitate cooperation between the different actors, i.e. manipulating power configurations, creating common ground, mobilizing bandwagons, devising appropriate incentive structures, applying ethical guidelines, and using implementation mechanisms. It also found, however, that the intent of cooperation is absent. To clarify, the literature on collective institutional entrepreneurship assumes that these endogenous drivers are actively employed or pursued by actors; however this does not apply for this case. Rather they transpired instinctively.

Another unexpected key point in the findings section is the coping mechanisms employed by the shipping industry, to sustain their current role. Three coping mechanisms became apparent from the analysis: commitment avoidance, minimizing capacity, and discursive strategy, which emphasizes how fluid the nature of the different actors’ roles are, and the importance of employing mechanisms to sustain these roles. Here it is further essential to note, that it is particularly important for the shipping industry to devote ample effort in employing these mechanisms, as they are the actor of last resort, and hence at most risk of increased involuntary engagement.

This finding again emphasizes the instable and dynamic nature of the roles, which is quite the contrary to prevalent literature within CC and CSR, as these often prescribe a static role to corporations.

In conclusion, the research has illustrated that, in order to better understand corporations’ roles and responsibilities in humanitarian crises within the CC framework, there is a need for an elaboration to the CC framework. Adding a fourth

scenario of corporations performing CC involuntarily due to role ambiguity, facilitates such an understanding and thus contributes to a more sophisticated and elaborate framework. It has moreover confirmed that there is a need to incorporate the institutional environment when studying CC, and clearly make a division between roles and responsibilities, as strategies can be employed by private actors to influence roles, whereas responsibilities on the other hand shape the boundaries within which these strategies can be employed.

7.1 Further research

The findings of this thesis have given rise to several potential areas of further research, both theoretically and empirically.

Theoretically the findings suggest that there is a need to elaborate on the CC literature, as it fails to capture involuntary engagement in CC, which is evident from the Mediterranean migration crisis. More specifically the findings suggest that a fourth dimension ought to be added to Matten and Crane’s framework, i.e.

role ambiguity. This finding thus calls for further research, to see if there are other cases where private actors end up as the actor of last resort in guarding citizenship due to role ambiguity, and thus generalize on this finding.

Additionally it would be interesting to conduct more research on the implications of role ambiguity, i.e. how it affects corporate engagement, and what possible implications this might have for the administration of citizenship rights.

Again, qualitative case studies that allows for comprehensive understandings of the complexities involved in situations like these would be preferable.

The findings moreover suggest an elaboration to the CSR literature in general.

Most literature within CSR focuses on how and why corporations engage in CSR and the general implications for this engagement, however little, if any, focuses on what corporations do to avoid CSR engagement. One of the key findings of this thesis was the cooping mechanisms employed by the shipping industry to minimize their role in the Mediterranean migration crisis, which suggests that there is in fact a scope for exploring this CSR avoidance further. In addition the

thesis has also shred light on the importance of including the process of how corporations get involved in CSR. This case clearly highlights how the regulatory environment has played a key role in the process, but also role ambiguity.

Empirically the research has illustrated that there is reason to believe that much more research can be done on private businesses getting involved in humanitarian crises. It is very likely that other cases of this phenomenon exist but little, if any, research has been carried out. It would therefore be interesting to expand the research on this phenomenon; to see what other types of cases of private businesses in humanitarian crises exist. This further research on the area could include 1) how private actors involuntarily get caught up in humanitarian crises, as is the case in the Mediterranean migration crisis. E.g. are there examples of private businesses getting caught up in humanitarian crises the same way on land, or is this in fact an exceptional case, and 2) research on how private actors voluntarily engage in humanitarian crises and what the motives behind this voluntary engagement are. 3) The relationship between corporate responsibilities and roles of private actors, i.e. more detailed research on how role change comes about, and whether role ambiguity is a reoccurring phenomenon in these situations. 4) This further gives rise to investigate how firms seek to mitigate roles and responsibilities; what other cooping mechanisms than the ones discovered in this thesis might be employed by private actors to cope with the situation. Lastly, studies focused on the exact implications of corporate engagement, no matter the nature of this engagement, might be interesting to pursue, to see whether and how corporate engagement might contribute to sustainable solutions in humanitarian crises.

In document Navigating a Humanitarian Crisis (Sider 66-70)