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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

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:162-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:199:d:64363 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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 (IFAMA), vol. 15(B).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1410-:d:107800 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Dellas, Eleni, 2011. "CSD water partnerships: Privatization, participation and legitimacy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1916-1923, September.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.


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