University of Twente Student Theses


The process of partnership initiation between Dutch businesses and NGOs

Tedjo, F. L. F. (2015) The process of partnership initiation between Dutch businesses and NGOs.

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Abstract:This study focuses on the partnership initiation processes between Dutch businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Nowadays, there exists many partnerships between businesses and NGOs, however, still little is known how these partnerships can occur. These processes seem fuzzy of nature and the main research question in this study is therefore: “How can Dutch businesses and NGOs initiate a workable partnership together?”. In order to provide a comprehensive answer to this, the reasons, benefits, resources, partnership processes and recommendations are provided in this study. For this study, a literature review is conducted in order to gain a deeper insight involving the subject. This literature review involves the foundation theories on which organizations want to partner and forms alliances together. After this, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with eleven organizations which consist of businesses and NGOs in The Netherlands. This study has found that there are many benefits, reasons and resources involved in a business-NGO partnership. First, the main benefits and reasons for companies involve complementary resource exchange, community involvement and synergy. For NGOs, this involves primarily the financial support and in order to achieve the NGO’s goals. Second, the main resources that are exchanged between companies and NGOs are financial resources, human resources and completion for the company’s CSR policies. Hereby is the ideal situation that the partners have a fit together, and that the resource exchange is bilateral in order to deliver valuable complementary resources to each other. Third, it has been found that the extent of formality in partnerships has an immense influence on the course of the business-NGO partnerships. The partnership processes may therefore be different for a formal or an informal partnership. These partnership processes consist of the following stages: acquaintance, assessing the partnership potential, developing partnership criteria and proposal, experimentation, evaluation, adaptation, operationalization, continuance or end of the partnership. These stages are incorporated in the developed model for this study. With this model, it is expected that businesses and NGOs can initiate workable partnership together. Another important finding within this study is that the process of partnership has many things in common with the aspects of human relationships. Therefore, up to a certain extent, business-NGO partnerships may be compared to the stages of human relationships. The findings in this study support some of the known benefits and resources within the business-NGO partnership literature. However, some non-common benefits and resources have also been found. The findings in this study also support the proposition within this field of research that a fit is very important in a partnership. A theoretical model from the literature review has been proposed to business-NGO partnerships in practice, and alterations of the model have been made to make it more workable in practice. The main recommendations from practitioners from the interviews to make the partnership workable are frequent communication and to invest in their partnership. Future research on this subject may focus on assessing and improving the usability of the model proposed in this study in practice. Another research suggestion is to assess whether there are differences in partnership patterns for large and small businesses and NGOs, and thereby assessing the extent of formality within these group of organizations.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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