The Politics of Partnerships: A Critical Examination of Nonprofit-Business Partnerships

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Springer Science & Business Media, Mar 22, 2010 - Business & Economics - 187 pages
In the late 1990s the idea of cross-sector collaborations was relatively new in Europe. The term ‘partnership’ was employed primarily to refer to partnerships between government and businesses, usually termed PPP (Public Private Partnerships). On the other hand ‘strategic alliances’ was the term employed for business-to-business partnerships. Until then ‘sponsorship’ was the most practised associational form between nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and businesses (BUSs), which was included within the broad area of corporate community involvement. The relations between NPOs and BUSs witnessed a gradual intensification over the last 200 years (Gray 1989; Young 1999; Austin 2000; Googins and Rochlin 2000) resulting in increased interactions within both the philanthropic and trans- tional types of relationships (Seitanidi and Ryan 2007). However, the more recent gradual prominence of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within all sectors of society elicited an intensification of the debate with regard to the responsibilities of each sector in addressing environmental and social issues. In effect, CSR contributed to the increase of the interactions across the sectors and propelled NPO-BUS Partnerships (a type of social partnership) as a key mechanism for corporations to delve into a process of engaging with NPOs in order to improve their business practices by contributing their resources to address social issues (Heap 1998; Mohiddin 1998; Fowler 2000; Googins and Rochlin 2000; Mancuso Brehm 2001; Drew 2003; Hemphill and Vonortas 2003).

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“Finally! Seitanidi has given us a map to navigate the brave new world of partnerships. Discussions of nonprofit-business partnerships have had too much rhetoric and too little reality. Seitanidi abandons happy talk and digs into the truth. The striking contribution of The Politics of Partnerships is the toolbox of concepts it gives us for making sense of nonprofit-business partnerships”
Thomas Donaldson, Mark O. Winkelman Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
“The Politics of Partnerships gives us a much-needed reality check highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of cross-sector collaborations in a world where boundaries seem to be fast disappearing. It provides significant new insights based in rich in-depth cases into what Seitanidi calls the ‘overt functional conflict,’ or the specific kinds of conflicts that partners in different sectors can run into. If you are interested in collaborations, this book is a must read.”
Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Professor of Management, Boston College
“Despite large interest in the possible role of partnerships in organizational strategies, empirical evidence that considers the complexity of the formation, implementation and outcomes is scarce. Through in-depth analysis in comparative perspective, this timely book provides much food for thought suggesting cooperation can also be accompanied by conflict.”
Prof.dr. Ans Kolk, University of Amsterdam Business School
“Seitanidi's book is a valuable asset for the leaders of business and non-profits, revealing the complexities in partnerships and building a framework for the successful implementation of collaborative models - an imperative within our increasingly globalized world.”
Hans Ulrich Maerki, Senior Fellow of Advanced Leadership, Harvard University (retired Chairman of IBM Europe Middle East Africa)
“The Politics of Partnerships contributes to the sustainability debate a holistic framework for partnership building, based on in-depth accounts of ways and means of collaborative working to incorporate conflict as a successful way of delivering change. This is a must read book for the business community but equally for the non-profits and governments. Seitanidi's book urges us to step up to the challenge of accepting and adapting our responsibilities within our increasingly beyond boundaries social realities."
Peter Lacy, Managing Director Accenture, Sustainability Services Europe, Africa and Latin America
"Based on detailed empirical research, Seitanidi shows us the reality behind the rhetoric of partnerships. This book is animated by a profound belief in the necessity for social change and shows us how partnerships can make a real difference, but also why they so often under perform. A compelling read."
Andrew Crane, George R. Gardiner Professor of Business Ethics, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
"An outstanding book that combines theory with practice and provides both context and challenges to our understanding of the complexity of the ethos of very different sectors and how they can work together. Myths are expunged of nasty business and innocent charities and professionals vs amateurs. A vital book for all private sector mangers engaged in voluntary sector relations and vice versa on how to do it properly. May Seitanidi’s book sets out at early stage how "Big Society" partnerships can be delivered."
Paul Palmer, Professor of Voluntary Sector Management & Associate Deal for Ethics, Sustainability and Engagement, Cass Business School, City University, London, UK


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Beyond Boundaries

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