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Keywords:

  • civil society organizations;
  • partnerships;
  • sustainability;
  • strategy;
  • tactic

Abstract

Cross-sectoral partnerships have increasingly been promoted as a solution to environmental and social problems. This presupposes participation of civil society organizations (CSOs). The article probes whether the partnership idea is prevailing among CSOs. The purpose of the study is to explore what underlies CSOs' approaches to interaction with business.

The study finds that, based on their background and tactics for business interaction, CSOs can be divided into Preservers, Protesters, Modifiers and Scrutinizers. Among these, solely the Preservers have a strategy of engaging in partnerships with business. The Protesters, Modifiers and Scrutinizers, on the other hand, take on a strategy of independence. This finding indicates that corporations that seek to successfully partner with CSOs should be wary that such collaboration is not in line with the strategy of all CSOs, and that for the same reasons the prevailing partnership promotion might be problematic. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.