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Value Creation in Cross-Sector Collaborations: The Roles of Experience and Alignment

Abstract

This research uses a survey (N = 362) to analyze types of benefits sought by partners in cross-sector collaborations (between businesses and NPOs) in Spain and to test and build upon theories that indicate prior collaboration experience and partner alignment will positively affect value creation through the collaboration. Using exploratory factor analysis to operationalize a broad range of potential benefits into more specific concepts, the results of this study identify distinct factors that characterize the types of benefits sought by non-profit organizations and businesses engaged in cross-sector collaborations. Findings show that prior experience and alignment positively affect each factor for value creation. Prior experience is also found to influence the type of benefits sought from cross-sector collaborations and to positively affect alignment in terms of mission and strategy. Unexpectedly, the study also finds that prior experience moderates the effect of alignment on value creation.

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Notes

  1. We use the term collaboration, but do not distinguish its meaning from “partnerships” or “alliances.”

  2. Following the guidelines of the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, organizations with <50 employees were designated as small or micro, those with 50–249 employees as medium, and those with 250 or more as large.

  3. There was an insufficient number (N = 13) of responses from individuals working in government for analysis.

  4. We did not request data reorganization size or hierarchical position from respondents, but expect the distributions to be similar to those of the survey population in general which are described above.

  5. All goodness of fit indexes were clearly within the recommended thresholds Satorra-Bentler Scaled χ 2 = 19.902 (P = 0.133); Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.0397; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.996; and the Standardized RMR = 0.0357.

  6. Respondents were invited to comment on other benefits (dependent variable) of cross-sector collaborations in an open-text field. The benefits mentioned in their responses were closely related to the list of benefits provided in the survey. We conclude from this that the list of benefits included in the survey capture the most relevant aspects of the concept of value creation.

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Correspondence to Matthew Murphy.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Types of Benefits Sought from Cross-Sector Collaboration

Address a societal need

Solve an environmental problem

Alleviate a social conflict or tension

Approval of investors or funders

Additional financial resources

Services or goods

Staff skills development

Staff retention

Staff recruitment

Staff motivation

Strengthen organizational values and culture

Technology Development

More sustainable products and services

Access to expertise and technology

Name recognition and reputation

Advantage in relation to other organizations

Customer, client or member loyalty

Capacity to influence other sectors

Communication with influential external parties

Access to other organizations

Appendix 2: Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Loadings of the indicators on the four factors considered:

  Env&Soc Appeal2Staff Infl&CA Ax2K&Tech
EnvProb 0.840
SocConf 0.900
StaffRet 0.818
StaffRec 0.929
CompAdv 0.861
Cap2Infl 0.648
Ax2Exp&Tech 0.771
TechDev 0.897

Correlations among the four factors:

  Env&Soc Appeal2Staff Infl&CA Ax2K&Tech
Env&Soc 1.000    
Appeal2Staff 0.473 1.000   
Infl&CA 0.619 0.460 1.000  
Ax2 K&Tech 0.555 0.537 0.635 1.000

Global fit indexes of diagnosis for the four factor structure of our questionnaire:

Satorra-Bentler scaled χ 2 = 19.902 (P = 0.133)

Root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.0397

90 % Confidence interval for RMSEA = (0.0; 0.0763)

P value for test of close fit (RMSEA < 0.05) = 0.0408

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Murphy, M., Arenas, D. & Batista, J.M. Value Creation in Cross-Sector Collaborations: The Roles of Experience and Alignment. J Bus Ethics 130, 145–162 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2204-x

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Keywords

  • Cross-sector collaboration (partnerships)
  • Alignment
  • Prior experience
  • Value creation
  • Survey