Sustainability cross-sector partnerships: The strategic role of organizational structures

Eduardo Ordonez-Ponce, Amelia Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Organizations partner for strategic reasons and sustainability is a strategic opportunity. However, organizations' strategic engagement in sustainability partnerships has been mainly qualitatively studied. This research aims to determine if structures, a key component of the strategy, are implemented within organizations when joining sustainability partnerships, whether organizational structures mediate between goals and outcomes achieved from partnering, if highly structured organizations achieve highly valued outcomes, and if organizational structures differ according to the sector. Data from 224 organizations from the public, civil society, and private sectors partnering in large cross-sector partnerships for the sustainability of four cities were collected and quantitatively analyzed finding that structures are implemented by organizations when partnering for sustainability, that is, sustainability partnerships are strategic; structures do not mediate between goals and outcomes; being highly structured is not enough for accomplishing valuable outcomes; and informal structural features are the most implemented by organizations, with public sector organizations differing from other sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2122-2134
Number of pages13
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep. 2020


  • community sustainability
  • contingency theory
  • cross-sector partnerships
  • organizational structures
  • resource-based view
  • strategic management


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