This paper aims to offer a New Zealand perspective on how business and community organisations engage to develop mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle pressing social issues. Specifically, the paper seeks to examine the collaboration motivations for business and community partners involved in seven business‐community partnerships in New Zealand.
The paper utilises data from in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with key business and community managers involved in seven partnerships in New Zealand. The transcripts of the interviews were analysed using elements of content and narrative analysis. Findings to be presented in this paper include: explaining what “partnership” is; understanding a business case; and community organisations' motivations for engaging in partnerships with business.
This research finds that, while partnerships involving business and community organisations may ideally be associated with shared societal concerns, in this study there was a very strong focus on individual community organisation goals and a dominance of business priorities. This was not balanced by an interest in the broader meta‐goals of the partnership.
This paper draws attention to diverse and often competing motivations that characterise business‐community partnerships. The research demonstrates that, while partnerships are often discussed in the context of societal benefits, individual organisations frequently form partnerships primarily for their own instrumental self‐interests. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate understanding of the practical challenges to developing business‐community partnerships, given differences among the partners in goal orientations and expectations.
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