The Formation of Cross-Sector Development Partnerships: The Role of Bridging Agents and Project Network Alliances
41 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2013
Cross-sector development partnerships (CSDPs) are project-based collaborative arrangements between business, government, and civil society organizations in support of international development goals such as sustainability, health education, and economic development. Based on the case of public private partnerships in development cooperation, we examine the important role of bridging agents in managing the institutional complexity around the formation of CSDP projects and longer-term project network alliances. We analyze bridging agency as a collective process involving both internal partner representatives and external intermediaries in initiating and/or supporting roles. We find that external intermediaries ease the formation of singular projects and longer-term alliances. However, projects that are initiated by intermediaries tend to be narrow and repetitive in scope, whereas projects initiated by internal partner representatives tend to explore novel project agendas. Yet, the longer-term pursuit of these agendas beyond singular projects may require external intermediaries in supporting roles. Findings help better understand micro-processes and collective practices of brokerage and alliance formation in transnational governance contexts and beyond.
Keywords: Intermediation, brokerage, project collaboration, public private partnership, multi-stakeholder process, transnational governance, international development, institutional logics, relational practices
JEL Classification: F13, F16, F18, F53, F55, F59, L15, L32, O13, O19, P45, P48, Q11, Q17, Q28, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation