The Design and Implementation of Cross-Sector Collaborations: Propositions from the Literature

Authors


John M. Bryson is a professor of planning and public affairs and associate dean for research and centers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the institute’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. E-mail:jmbryson@umn.edu.

Barbara C. Crosby is an associate professor of public affairs and planning at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and a member of the institute’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. E-mail:bcrosby@umn.edu.

Melissa Middleton Stone is the Gross Family Professor of Nonprofit Management and director of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. E-mail:mstone@umn.edu.

Abstract

People who want to tackle tough social problems and achieve beneficial community outcomes are beginning to understand that multiple sectors of a democratic society—business, nonprofits and philanthropies, the media, the community, and government—must collaborate to deal effectively and humanely with the challenges. This article focuses on cross-sector collaboration that is required to remedy complex public problems. Based on an extensive review of the literature on collaboration, the article presents a propositional inventory organized around the initial conditions affecting collaboration formation, process, structural and governance components, constraints and contingencies, outcomes, and accountability issues.

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