Are the Sectors Compatible? International Development Work and Lessons for a Business–Nonprofit Partnership Framework


  • Jeneviève Mannell

    Corresponding author
    1. Gender Institute
      London School of Economics and Political Science
      London, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1

      Research for this paper was completed as part of the author's Master's requirements for the Institute of Social Psychology at the London School of Economics. The author acknowledges the contributions of an anonymous reviewer, and thanks Catherine Campbell (MSc supervisor) for her contributions as well as her ongoing support and wisdom.

Jeneviève Mannell, Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK. E-mail:


In recent years, there has been increased involvement of the for-profit sector in the development of nonprofit frameworks for organizational transformation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The present paper uses a social psychological approach to examine an exchange between the sectors in which business management consultants travel to developing countries to offer their skills to NGOs. Social representations theory provides a means of delving into the various meanings these business management consultants attribute to international development and the NGO work environment. The study reveals that consultants tend to interpret the NGO sector and international development through a lens of profit and efficiency, and that experience working with an NGO may actually strengthen this perspective.