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

See all articles by Tobias Hahn

Tobias Hahn

KEDGE Business School

Jonatan Pinkse

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

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

Hahn, Tobias and Pinkse, Jonatan, Private Environmental Governance Through Cross-Sector Partnerships: Tensions between Competition and Effectiveness (2014). Organization & Environment, 27(2), 140-160, DOI 10.1177/1086026614530996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2414429

Tobias Hahn (Contact Author)

KEDGE Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy - BP 921
BP 921
Marseille, PACA 13288
France
+33491827313 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kedgebs.com

Jonatan Pinkse

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

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