Meeting the Challenge of Effectiveness in Nonprofit Partnerships: Examining the Roles of Partner Selection, Trust, and Communication

Yannick C. Atouba*, Michelle D. Shumate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human services nonprofits increasingly provide a social safety net through interorganizational collaboration, and the effectiveness of these partnerships has important implications for the quality and sufficiency of those services. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether partner selection is related to partnership effectiveness and, if so, how. More specifically, the study examines the impact of partner selection on partnership effectiveness and the mediating roles of trust and communication in that relationship. Based on surveys on 201 voluntary human services nonprofit partnerships, trust, and communicative effectiveness are related to satisfaction with partnership outcomes. Trust and communicative effectiveness fully mediated the effects of prior experience and reputation on partnership effectiveness and communication. Interestingly and contrary to some findings from previous research, resource complementarity, homophily, and social networks across organizations’ members, as partner selection factors, were not found to be related to partnership effectiveness. We derived implications for partnership effectiveness research from the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalVoluntas
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Interorganizational collaboration
  • Partner selection
  • Partnership effectiveness
  • Statistical mediation
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management

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