Examining alliance management capabilities in cross-sector collaborative partnerships

Omar Al-Tabbaa, Desmond Leach, Zaheer Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date30 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

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.

Funding statement
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


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining alliance management capabilities in cross-sector collaborative partnerships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this