Intervening to Improve Inter‐organizational Partnerships

Barbara Gray

in The Oxford Handbook of Inter-Organizational Relations

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199282944
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Intervening to Improve Inter‐organizational Partnerships

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Business Strategy


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Actors who envision gaining collaborative advantage from aligning with others in an inter-organizational partnership face the often-daunting prospect of trying to integrate their diverse perspectives. The complexity and challenges of initiating and maintaining such partnerships have been chronicled extensively. This article reviews a variety of interventions aimed at improving the quality and the likelihood of alliance success. It defines interventions as deliberate actions taken by an alliance partner or a third party to influence the formation, design, or process of interaction among alliance partners. This article refers to five types of partnerships: strategic alliances, joint ventures, policy planning forums, community forums, and multisector collaborations. Interventions can originate from various sources. Additionally, the interventions have been tested and refined through practical application in numerous contexts and thereby reflect the best of theory-to-practice wisdom. This article reviews the underlying theory behind each intervention and assesses its utility for improving inter-organizational partnerships.

Keywords: strategic alliances; joint ventures; policy planning forums; community forums; multisector collaborations

Article.  10677 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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