IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Business and partnerships for development


  • Kolk, Ans
  • van Tulder, Rob
  • Kostwinder, Esther


Summary The potential contribution of companies as partners in furthering development objectives is frequently mentioned, but has received limited research attention. What has also remained unclear is to what extent companies can play such a role via the various individual and collaborative means available to them. Collaborative efforts include not only the more well-known partnerships with nonprofit (non-governmental) organisations (NGOs), but also with governments, and even with both parties. This paper analyses the characteristics of development activities undertaken by companies individually and jointly via public-private, private-nonprofit and tripartite partnerships. Using multinationals originating from the Netherlands as empirical setting, we find that private-nonprofit partnerships are most common, with tripartite and public-private partnerships only emerging, also due to divergent views between business and government. Most partnerships are directly linked to companies' core activities or focus on the sector or supply chain. A broad, macro development orientation mostly occurs in (tripartite/bilateral) partnerships involving nonprofit organisations. The paper also discusses the implications of the study for partner roles and effectiveness of partnerships, as well as for research and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Kolk, Ans & van Tulder, Rob & Kostwinder, Esther, 2008. "Business and partnerships for development," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 262-273, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:26:y:2008:i:4:p:262-273

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rob Tulder & M. May Seitanidi & Andrew Crane & Stephen Brammer, 2016. "Enhancing the Impact of Cross-Sector Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 1-17, April.
    2. Diederik de Boer & Meine Pieter van Dijk, 2016. "Success Factors for Community Business Wildlife Tourism Partnerships in Tanzania," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(4), pages 555-570, September.
    3. Rob Tulder & Nienke Keen, 2018. "Capturing Collaborative Challenges: Designing Complexity-Sensitive Theories of Change for Cross-Sector Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 150(2), pages 315-332, June.
    4. Domenico Dentoni & Verena Bitzer & Stefano Pascucci, 2016. "Cross-Sector Partnerships and the Co-creation of Dynamic Capabilities for Stakeholder Orientation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 35-53, April.
    5. Ans Kolk & Willemijn Dolen & Marlene Vock, 2010. "Trickle Effects of Cross-Sector Social Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 123-137, July.
    6. Lea Stadtler, 2018. "Tightrope Walking: Navigating Competition in Multi-Company Cross-Sector Social Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 148(2), pages 329-345, March.
    7. Thorpe, Jodie, 2018. "Procedural Justice in Value Chains Through Public–private Partnerships," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 162-175.
    8. Nor Azlina Binti Kamaruddin Author_Email: & Mohd Tusirin Hj Mohd Nor & Rosmah Mat Isa & Nor Liza Abdullah, 2011. "Value Creation In Public Private Partnership: Effect Of Commercial And Social Entrepreneurship On Performance," 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research (2nd ICBER 2011) Proceeding 2011-380, Conference Master Resources.
    9. Mohammed Asaduzzaman & Jari Kaivo-oja & Jari Stenvall & Sari Jusi, 2016. "Strengthening Local Governance in Developing Countries: Partnership as an Alternative Approach," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 335-356, September.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:199:d:64363 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bitzer, Verena, 2012. "Partnering for Change in Chains: the Capacity of Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Change in Global Agrifood Chains," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 15(B), pages 1-25, December.
    12. Daniel Arenas & Pablo Sanchez & Matthew Murphy, 2013. "Different Paths to Collaboration Between Businesses and Civil Society and the Role of Third Parties," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(4), pages 723-739, July.
    13. Jan Anton van Zanten & Rob van Tulder, 2018. "Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: An institutional approach to corporate engagement," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 1(3), pages 208-233, December.
    14. Ignacio De Los Ríos-Carmenado & Mauricio Ortuño & María Rivera, 2016. "Private–Public Partnership as a Tool to Promote Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development: WWP Torrearte Experience," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-19, February.
    15. Stadtler, Lea & Probst, Gilbert, 2012. "How broker organizations can facilitate public–private partnerships for development," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 32-46.
    16. Lena Brogaard & Ole Helby Petersen, 2018. "Public‐private partnerships (PPPs) in development policy: Exploring the concept and practice," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 36(S2), pages 729-747, September.
    17. Rivera-Santos, Miguel & Rufín, Carlos & Kolk, Ans, 2012. "Bridging the institutional divide: Partnerships in subsistence markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 1721-1727.
    18. María José Sanzo & Luis Ignacio Álvarez & Marta Rey, 2017. "Lights and Shadows of Business-Nonprofit Partnerships: The Role of Nonprofit Learning and Empowerment in this Ethical Puzzle," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-21, August.
    19. Metzger, Laura & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Mahmoud, Toman Omar, 2010. "Is Corporate Aid Targeted to Poor and Deserving Countries? A Case Study of Nestlé's Aid Allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 228-243, March.
    20. Stephan Manning & Daniel Roessler, 2014. "The Formation of Cross-Sector Development Partnerships: How Bridging Agents Shape Project Agendas and Longer-Term Alliances," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 527-547, September.
    21. Lea Stadtler, 2016. "Scrutinizing Public–Private Partnerships for Development: Towards a Broad Evaluation Conception," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 71-86, April.
    22. Dellas, Eleni, 2011. "CSD water partnerships: Privatization, participation and legitimacy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1916-1923, September.
    23. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2011. "Is Combined Microfinance an Instrument to enhance Sustainable Pro-Poor Public Policy Outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 11-013, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    24. Bertha Vallejo & Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka & Nicholas Ozor & Maurice Bolo, 2019. "Open Innovation and Innovation Intermediaries in Sub-Saharan Africa," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, January.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:26:y:2008:i:4:p:262-273. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.