Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
This research examines the extent to which nonprofit organization engage in collaboration as a strategic tool using the lenses of network theory, strategic alliances, and interorganizational relations literature. It provides a unique insight into the ways in which nonprofit organizations operate by using the lenses of literature developed to examine both for-profits and governments collaborative behavior. This study contributes several important findings to furthering our understanding of collaboration within the nonprofit sector. The findings of this study suggest that there are two key elements that determine the degree to which nonprofit organizations participated in collaborations: demand for the goods and services they provide and the social structure of everyday relationships that the organizations maintain. These findings suggest that the two dominant forces at work in the extent of collaborations between nonprofit organizations are the need to keep up with demands from the community in order to fulfill the organization's mission and access to both information and opportunities to partner with others through a network. The findings also suggest power of organizations within a network setting or betweeness centrality reduces the extent to which nonprofit organizations collaborate. The second area in which this research contributed new understanding was through the examination of the networks themselves and what these examinations suggested about differences between types of nonprofits and functional networks of nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the network findings point to several emerging types of organizations such as management service organizations and volunteer referral organizations that could have important implications for the health and structure networks of nonprofits in local settings. These organizations seem to be key bridge builders between organizations operating in communities and could prove useful tools for creating stability in exchange of information and communication in local communities. In particular, this suggests that the sector itself is creating stability that Provan and Milward (2000) suggested was important to effectiveness of social service delivery networks. In contrast to their findings, the key organizing actors found in the networks of this study did not have the coercive power of control over funding that was suggested as a key feature of delivery networks they described. However, they were powerful in other respects including the potential to control access to resources such as information and/or volunteers.