Finding the recipe for success in partnerships

May 5, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Like a successful marriage, winning partnerships between profit and non-profit organizations require balancing the give and take and considering the needs of your counterpart.

New research from Marlene J. Le Ber, PhD candidate, and Oana Branzei, Assistant Professor of Strategy and David G. Burgoyne Faculty Fellow at the Richard Ivey School of Business, investigates factors that contribute to successful partnerships between profit and non-profit organizations, known as cross-sector partnerships.

While cross-sector partnerships for such initiatives have advantages because they leverage the strengths of each party, incompatibilities might also jeopardize the relationship.

Exploring four partnerships in Canadian health care involving large publicly traded companies and hospitals or hospital-based research institutes, the researchers discovered some ingredients for a successful mix.

These include seeking the “right” partner with a shared vision and continuously assessing the relationship’s progress and redefining each party’s role as the relationship unfolds.

“It’s critical to not let the relationship slide into complacency; role adjustments are drivers of success,” says Branzei. “Role adjustments can lead to new, different or stronger connections.”
Their findings show role adjustments come naturally as partners collaborate more intensely, but become increasingly challenging as the relationship derails.

“Partners need to actively manage their differences and interdependencies to help reverse temporary setbacks and accelerate success,” says Le Ber. “Like a marriage, partners must make patient investments in their . The emphasis is on fit, compatibility and constancy of purpose.”

The research opens the door to further study on how partners overcome friction, particularly when faced with difference, adversity and external pressure.

The study, “(Re)Forming Strategic Cross-Sector Partnerships: Relational Processes of Social Innovation” is published in Business & Society. The full study can be downloaded here.

Explore further: Divorce reduces chance of new, successful relationship

Related Stories

Divorce reduces chance of new, successful relationship

September 7, 2007

After a separation or divorce the chances of marrying or cohabiting again decrease. In particular, a previous marriage or children from a previous relationship, reduce the chances of a new relationship. Moreover, the prospects ...

Why you may lose that loving feeling after tying the knot

April 22, 2009

Dating couples whose dreams include marriage would do well to step back and reflect upon the type of support they'll need from their partners when they cross the threshold, a new Northwestern University study suggests.

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.