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Partnerships for sustainable change with transformative impact - working paper

Lucia Helsloot

Paper developed to complete the Executive Program Corporate Social Responsibility of the Erasmus School of Accounting & Assurance and with guidance from the Partnership Resource Centre of the Rotterdam School of Management.

NGOs and businesses are increasingly engaging in partnerships. The central research question of this paper is 'under what conditions can partnerships have transformative impact?'

To answer this central research question the following sub questions were answered:

1. What is meant with partnerships?

2. What makes a partnership transformative?

3. What is known about the conditions for partnerships to have transformative impact?

4. What can we learn from practice (case study) about the abovementioned conditions?

5. What are lessons learnt, challenges and dilemma’s?

After a short explanation of the methodology used in this study (chapter 2), the concept of partnerships is explored. In chapter 3 attention is given to different typologies of partnerships, and the characteristics of transformative partnerships are further explored. In addition the most important key factors for successful partnering are identified. Chapter 3 ends with exploring the current discourse on impact of partnerships. In chapter 4 the partnership between Plan Netherlands and Akzo Nobel is elaborated as an illustrative case study. The paper ends with some conclusions and challenges in chapter 5.