While there is a significant amount of research on cross-sector collaboration, we still lack an adequate understanding of the nature and dynamics of Alliance Management Capabilities (AMC) that organizations demand when stretching their inter-organizational relationships beyond the boundaries of their sector. We address this gap by investigating the role of AMC in establishing and maintaining cross-sector collaborations, focusing on the perspective of nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Using qualitative data obtained from a diverse group of NPOs that are actively in collaboration with the business sector, we identified a unique set of AMC that are deployed at the pre- and post-formation stages of collaboration, and concomitantly at both stages (or cross-cutting AMC). Moreover, we provide an integrative framework that explains how these capabilities are leveraged and developed within the context of cross-sector collaboration which takes a circular path that comprises strategic actions and learning routines. We draw implications for theory and practice.
We would like to thank Jean B. McGuire, the handling editor and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments during the review process. We also appreciate Prof. Soo He Lee, University of Kent, UK for his very useful feedback on the earlier draft of the paper.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
- Alliance management capabilities
- Cross-sector collaboration
- Learning routines
- Nonprofit organizations
- Nonprofit-business collaboration
- Strategic actions