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close this bookPartners in Time? Business, NGOs and Sustainable Development (UNRISD, 1999, 85 p.)
close this folderPart 1: The changing nature of business-ngo relations
close this folderConclusions: The Characteristics of Collaboration
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreconditions
View the documentInteractive Processes
View the documentOutcomes and Consequences


Researchers such as Donna Wood and Barbara Gray (1991) argue for a comprehensive theory of collaboration. However, it should be remembered that “partnerships are highly contextually specific... [and] must be developed within the political and organizational culture of specific localities” (Stewart and Snape, 1996:5). The more specific area of business-NGO partnerships for sustainable development embodies a wide range of industrial sectors, NGO types, geographical contexts, political cultures and organizational forms. Given this diversity, it seems unlikely that any one model of collaboration would be an adequate, let alone appropriate, analytical tool. Instead we offer some general characteristics of business-NGO collaboration, which, for the most part, appear to be shared by all three case studies. These characteristics are presented as preconditions for interactive processes and outcomes.