Managing Cross-Functional Collaboration : An exploratory case study examining cross-functional collaboration between sustainability manager and marketing department
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- Master Thesis 
Sustainability has become increasingly important in our society, with new regulations and trends emerging regularly. In response, several firms have hired sustainability managers to meet present and future needs regarding sustainability. Greenwashing is a risk faced by marketing departments when communicating sustainability. However, collaborating with a sustainability manager can help the marketing department navigate the complex world of sustainability while effectively communicating sustainability to consumers. Our thesis explores the nature of collaboration between a firm's sustainability manager and marketing department, and examines what can be done to promote efficient collaboration between the two. We conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with sustainability managers across different Nordic firms and our research was guided by four themes from existing literature: management support, shared goals and values, shared information, and team training. After analysing the data, we discovered four key elements that might impact the crossfunctional collaboration between the sustainability manager and the marketing department. These four elements are top management support, joint projects, common language, and giving training a purpose. Our research found that these elements can enhance collaboration between the sustainability manager and the marketing department, and that top management support could be particularly critical for enabling cross-functional collaboration. Implementing these elements can enhance cross-functional collaboration and increase the likelihood of success.