Combined Forces for Social Impact

Investigating Partnership Dynamics between Social Ventures and Corporations

  • Heike Schirmer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-13
  2. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 15-21
  3. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 23-74
  4. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 75-98
  5. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 99-118
  6. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 119-136
  7. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 137-200
  8. Heike Schirmer
    Pages 201-210
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 211-247

About this book


For social entrepreneurs, who often operate under conditions of resource scarcity, building partnerships offers an effective way to gain complementary capabilities. Heike Schirmer investigates the dynamics of partnerships between social ventures and corporations. Based on four case studies from Germany, the author shows two opposing formation processes. Means-driven partnerships, dominated by elements of effectuation, start with generalized aspirations and evolve over time. Goal-driven partnerships, dominated by elements of causation, start with pre-determined goals and follow a strategic, systematic implementation. The data also reveals that formation processes and governance mechanisms might be interlinked.



  • Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Socially-Oriented Partnerships
  • Partnership Formation Processes: Means-Driven and Goal-Driven Partnerships
  • Governance Mechanisms in Inter-Organizational Relations and Their Link to Partnership Formation Processes


Target Groups

  • Researchers and students in the fields of the social and management sciences with a focus on inter-organizational partnerships and social entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurs


The Author

Heike Schirmer obtained her PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin focusing on cross-sector partnerships. She works as a consultant at a leading international management consultancy.                        


Cross-Sector Partnership Effectuation Governance Mechanisms Partnership Formation Social Entrepreneurship

Authors and affiliations

  • Heike Schirmer
    • 1
  1. 1.FB Erziehungswissenschaft u. PsychologieFU BerlinBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information