Journal Article

The Inter-Organizational Ties That Bind: Exploring the Contributions of Agency-Congregation Relationships*

Edward C. Polson

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 69, issue 1, pages 45-65
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/69.1.45
The Inter-Organizational Ties That Bind: Exploring the Contributions of Agency-Congregation Relationships*

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Do inter-organizational relationships between religious congregations and social service agencies create bonds that have the capacity to strengthen civil society? Previous research has shown that the provision of social services is one way that congregations contribute to their communities. While some congregations establish their own social service programs, many do not. Instead, they provide services by forming relationships with other organizations. Yet, few studies have examined these relationships to determine whether the institutional bonds that they create encourage individuals to become more engaged in service activities that foster community connectedness. Drawing on interview and survey data collected from social service agencies in one community, this article explores the types of relationships that exist between agencies and congregations. Findings reveal four categories of agencycongregation relationships. Moreover, interview data suggest that inter-organizational partnerships have the most potential for contributing to stronger local civic life.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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