Private Environmental Governance Through Cross-Sector Partnerships: Tensions between Competition and Effectiveness
Organization & Environment, 27(2), 140-160, DOI 10.1177/1086026614530996
Posted: 26 Mar 2014 Last revised: 4 Sep 2014
Date Written: 2014
We analyze the suitability of cross-sector partnerships as an effective mechanism for private environmental governance. By focusing on the interaction between firms within cross-sector partnerships, we analyze how competition between firms affects partnership effectiveness. Marrying insights from the private governance literature with institutional theory and the resource-based view, we identify under which conditions firm-level competition for legitimacy and capabilities, respectively, undermines or enhances effectiveness of cross-sector partnerships to address environmental issues. In doing so, our argument develops the various factors that moderate the relationship between competition and effectiveness for different types of partnerships. We contend that the effectiveness of cross-sector partnerships for governing global environmental issues depends considerably on whether competitive forces at the firm level are aligned with the collective benefits of partnerships. We discuss the consequences for designing effective cross-sector partnerships as well as the implications of a firm perspective on private governance.
Keywords: Private environmental governance, Firm-level competition, Cross-sector partnerships, Global environmental issues, Sustainability, Cooperative strategy, Environmental responsibility, Competitive advantage, Corporate legitimacy
JEL Classification: M10, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation