Opposites Attract: A multiple case study of the relationship between corporate and CSO managers in cross-sector collaborations

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: The new wave of cross-sector collaborations between corporations and civil society organizations (CSOs) differs from the relationships of the past and has grown in popularity and importance. Fundamental differences between the corporations and CSOs make corporate-CSO collaborations (CCCs) complex from a management perspective. This causes uncertainty among the managers involved in these collaborations of how CCCs should be managed. Drawing on CSR and cross-sector collaboration literature, we develop theory about how corporate and CSO managers handle uncertainty in CCCs. Through a multiple case study of ten collaborations in Sweden we highlight the relationship component in CCCs. We propose a link between the collaboration stage and type of relationship between the managers, by showing that more intensive collaborations involve a genuine and personal relationship between the managers while less intensive collaborations are rather dependent on calculating costs and benefits or sharing ideals and values.

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