Combined Forces for Social Impact
Investigating Partnership Dynamics between Social Ventures and Corporations
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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.
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.