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Collaboration for the socially responsible development of rural regions: biogas production in Lithuanian farms


Purpose. This paper aims to examine the collaboration of livestock farming business with other three groups of actors and explore the gap between expectations and reality concerning biogas production as collaborative innovation for the socially responsible development of rural regions in Lithuania.


Design/methodology/approach. This paper is based on the concept of the Quadruple Helix, which focusses on innovation, viewed as a process involving increasingly closer interactions and coordination among the following four groups of actors of the helix: government, academia, industry and civil society. Scientific literature analysis and generalization, expert interview and focus group methods were used to generate data for analysis. Data were collected during the period of July-November 2018 in Lithuania.


Findings. The research results reveal that the greatest gap among expectations and the actual situation in collaboration for socially responsible innovation, biogas production – is observed among non‐governmental organizations as representatives of civil society and all other questioned Quadruple Helix actors, whereas the government had been recognized as a most isolated part of the collaboration for innovation in biogas in Lithuania.


Research limitations/implications. This paper presents empirical findings, based on qualitative data, collected in one EU new member state, i.e. Lithuania. International comparative perspectives are given in other related papers. Research findings are promising for further research in the field of socially responsible development of rural regions using the Quadruple Helix approach to foster collaboration for modern circular economy innovation both from theoretical and empirical points of view.


Practical implications. The methodology might be used for practitioners to research collaboration excellence/gaps in any field of activity.

Social implications. The research takes into account the public interest from a very broad point of view – how to develop rural regions in a socially responsible way by using already established innovations in biogas in livestock farms by giving another dimension of socially responsible collaboration for innovation.


Originality/value. The paper proposes using the original Quadruple Helix approach to foster the socially responsible development of rural regions, thus enlarging the scope of the theory of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with the newly emerged discourse in the field. Socially responsible development of rural regions with the use of collaboration for circular innovations has been absent from theoretical to empirical CSR research.


Keywords: collaboration; agribusiness; Quadruple Helix; biogas; social responsibility (SR)


Impact Factor: 2.38 (2019 Scopus CiteScore Tracker, 2020)



Vilkė, R.; Gedminaitė-Raudonė, Ž.; Vidickienė, D. 2020. Collaboration for the socially responsible development of rural regions: biogas production in Lithuanian farms. Social Responsibility Journal. ISSN: 1747-1117; https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-07-2019-0235 [Scopus, Cabell's Directories of Publishing Opportunities, International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS) , RePEc, Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate Analytics)].


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