Differences Among NGOs in the Business-NGO Cooperative Network

Amy O'Connor*, Michelle Shumate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Informed by the symbiotic sustainability model, this theory-building research compares a stratified subsample (N= 66) from 695 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have relationships with U.S. Fortune 500 companies in 11 industries (N= 155). Using network analysis and centering resonance analysis, the research compares the "about us" statements of three groups of NGOs with different indegree centralities. The results of this study suggest that NGOs with multiple corporate partners are distinct from NGOs with single corporate partners. Across all levels of centrality, NGOs in cross-sector cooperative relationships tend to focus on children and be service oriented. In addition, federated NGOs were more likely to occupy a central position in the business-NGO cooperative network and foundations were more likely to have relationships with multiple corporations. Local NGOs were more likely to have only one cross-sector relationship and were, by a significant margin, the largest group. Propositions for future research are offered based on the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-133
Number of pages29
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • NGOs
  • computerized text analysis
  • cross-sector partnerships
  • social network analysis
  • symbiotic sustainability model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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