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Understanding Collaborative Value Creation by Environmental Nonprofit and Renewable Energy Business Partnerships

  • Alex Lyakhov
  • Travis Gliedt
Original Paper

Abstract

Many environmental nonprofit organizations (ENPOs) seek to create sustainability value by promoting environmental principles and influencing policymakers to support pro-environmental legislation. One strategy used by ENPOs to enhance the value creation process is the development of partnerships with businesses. Semi-structured interviews with leaders of six national ENPOs in the United States were conducted to examine the sources and types of value created by collaborations with renewable energy businesses, and the partnership processes and outcomes that are most desirable. The goal was to understand how and why ENPOs seek partnerships, what the potential benefits are, and whether or not ENPO leadership orientation, as characterized by their perceptions of the political opportunity structure, political ideology, and environmental philosophy, led to different views of partnerships for sustainability value creation. The finding that differences in the partnership perspectives of the ENPO leadership did not directly link to differences in the leadership orientations suggests that none of the orientations precluded partnering in general and may even have been enablers in some cases.

Keywords

Environmental nonprofits Renewable energy Partnerships Collaborative value creation Sustainability 

Résumé

De nombreuses organisations environnementales à but non lucratif cherchent à créer un intérêt en matière de développement durable en promouvant les principes environnementaux et en influençant les responsables politiques pour qu’ils soutiennent une législation en faveur de l’environnement. L’une des stratégies utilisées par ces organisations pour améliorer le processus de création de cet intérêt est le développement de partenariats avec les entreprises. Des entrevues semi-structurées avec les dirigeants de six organisations nationales aux États-Unis ont été menées pour étudier les ressources et les types d’intérêt créés par les collaborations avec des entreprises axées sur l’énergie renouvelable, ainsi que les processus de partenariat et les résultats les plus souhaitables. L’objectif était de comprendre comment et pourquoi les organisations environnementales à but non lucratif recherchaient des partenariats, quels étaient les avantages possibles, et si oui ou non leur orientation de leadership caractérisée par leur perception de la structure des opportunités politiques, l’idéologie politique et la philosophie environnementale avaient conduit à des opinions différentes sur les partenariats pour la création d’un intérêt en matière de développement durable. La conclusion selon laquelle les différences au niveau des perspectives de partenariat de la direction des organisations environnementales à but non lucratif n’étaient pas directement liées aux différences d’orientation de direction semble indiquer qu’aucune des orientations écartées ne s’associait de manière générale et qu’il se peut même qu’elles aient été des catalyseurs dans certains cas.

Zusammenfassung

Viele gemeinnützige Umweltorganisationen streben einen Nachhaltigkeitswert an, indem sie sich für ökologische Prinzipien einsetzen und politische Entscheidungsträger dazu bewegen, umweltfreundliche Gesetze zu unterstützen. Eine von den Organisationen angewandte Strategie zur Verbesserung des Wertschöpfungsprozesses ist der Aufbau von Partnerschaften mit Unternehmen. Es wurden semi-strukturierte Interviews mit Leitern von sechs nationalen gemeinnützigen Umweltorganisationen in den USA durchgeführt, um die Quellen und Arten des Wertes zu untersuchen, der durch eine Zusammenarbeit mit Unternehmen für erneuerbare Energien geschaffen wurde, und um die erstrebenswerten Prozesse und Resultate der Partnerschaften zu erforschen. Ziel war es, zu einem Verständnis dahingehend zu gelangen, wie und warum gemeinnützige Umweltorganisationen Partnerschaften anstreben, was die potenziellen Vorteile sind und ob die Orientierung der Organisationsleitung, gekennzeichnet durch ihre Sichtweise der politischen Opportunitätsstruktur, der politischen Ideologie und der Umweltphilosophie, zu verschiedenen Auffassungen mit Hinblick auf Partnerschaften zur Schöpfung des Nachhaltigkeitswertes führt. Das Ergebnis, dass die unterschiedlichen Partnerschaftsperspektiven seitens der Organisationsführung nicht direkt mit den unterschiedlichen Orientierungen der Organisationsführung verbunden waren, weist darauf hin, dass keine der Orientierungen eine Partnerschaft generell ausschloss und dies in einigen Fällen sogar unter Umständen der Auslöser war.

Resumen

Muchas organizaciones medio ambientales sin ánimo de lucro (ENPO, por sus siglas en inglés) tratan de crear el valor de la sostenibilidad promoviendo principios medio ambientales e influyendo en los responsables políticos para que apoyen la legislación pro-medio ambiental. Una estrategia utilizada por las ENPO para mejorar el proceso de creación de valor es el desarrollo de asociaciones con empresas. Se realizaron entrevistas semiestructuradas con líderes de seis ENPO nacionales en los Estados Unidos para examinar las fuentes y tipos de valor creados mediante colaboraciones con empresas de energía renovable, y los procesos de asociación y los resultados que son más deseables. La meta era comprender cómo y por qué las ENPO buscan asociaciones, cuáles son los beneficios potenciales, y si la orientación del liderazgo o no, caracterizada por sus percepciones de la estructura de oportunidad política, la ideología política y la filosofía medio ambiental, llevaba a diferentes visiones de las asociaciones para la creación del valor de la sostenibilidad. El hallazgo de que las diferencias en las perspectivas de la asociación por el liderazgo de las ENPO no se vinculaban directamente a diferencias en las orientaciones de liderazgo sugiere que ninguna de las orientaciones descartaba el asociarse en general y pueden incluso haber sido facilitadoras en algunos casos.

摘要

许多环保非营利性组织(environmental nonprofit organizations (ENPOs))通过推广环保主义与促使政策制定者支持环保立法,以努力创造可持续性价值。为了改善价值创造的效果,ENPOs所采用的策略是与企业发展合作关系。对六名美国全国性的ENPOs领导进行了半结构化访问(semi-structured interviews),以检视通过与可再生能源企业合作所创造的价值的来源与类型以及最为可取的合作过程与结果。目标是了解:ENPOs寻求合作的方式与原因;潜在益处是什么;ENPO领导的取向(其特征由其对政治机遇结构、政治意识形态以及环保理念的感知所决定)是否导致关于可持续性价值创造的不同观点。研究结果显示,ENPO领导的合作关系观点的差异并不与领导取向的差异直接相关,这表示,总体而言,没有任何取向会阻止合作关系的建立,在某些情况下,这些差异甚至有促进作用。

要約

多くの環境非営利組織(ENPO)は、環境方針を推進かつ環境立法をサポートする政策立案者に影響を及ぼす持続可能な価値の構築を求めている。価値創造プロセスを高めるために ENPOで使用される1つの戦略は、企業とのパートナーシップを展開することである。再生可能エネルギー事業とのコラボレーションとパートナーシップのプロセスが最も望ましい結果によって作成された値のソースと型を確認するために、米国において6つの国のENPOの指導者に半構成的面接を行った。目標はENPOがどのようにいかなる理由で潜在的なパートナーシップを求めるかを理解することであり、政治的機会の構造、政治的理念、環境的理念の認識から特徴づけられるENPOのリーダーシップの方向性が、持続可能性な価値び創造のためのパートナーシップに異なる視点につながるかどうかを理解することである。ENPOのリーダーシップにおけるパートナーシップの見通しの相違は、指導者の方向性の違いに直接関与しておらず、一般的にパートナーシップは方向性を除外するが、可能性をもつ場合があることがわかった。

ملخص

تسعى العديد من المنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية (ENPOs) إلى خلق قيمة الإستدامة من خلال تعزيز المبادئ البيئية والتأثير على صناع القرارلدعم التشريعات البيئية المؤيدة. إحدى الإستراتيجيات التي تستخدمها المنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية(ENPOs) لتعزيز عملية خلق القيمة هي إقامة شراكات مع الأعمال التجارية. أجريت مقابلات شبه منظمة مع قادة ستة من المنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية (ENPOs) الوطنية في الولايات المتحدة لدراسة مصادر وأنواع القيمة التي أنشأها التعاون مع شركات الطاقة المتجددة، وإجراءات الشراكة والنتائج التي هي المرغوب فيها. كان الهدف هو فهم كيف ولماذا تسعى المنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية (ENPOs) للشراكات، ما هي الفوائد المحتملة، أوعدمها للمنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية (ENPOs) لتوجيه القيادة، كما تتميز تصوراتهم للبنية السياسية فرصة أو إيديولوجية سياسية، والفلسفة البيئية، أدت إلى وجهات نظرمختلفة لشراكات لخلق قيمة الإستدامة. النتيجة التي مفادها أن الإختلافات في وجهات نظر شراكة المنظمات الغير ربحية البيئية (ENPOs) لم يربط مباشرة إلى إختلافات في توجهات القيادة تشير إلى أن أي من التوجهات يمنع الشراكة بشكل عام، بل وربما كانت العوامل المساعدة في بعض الحالات.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

The authors received no funding for this research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental SustainabilityUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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