A Typology of Social Partnership Organizations

July 23, 2020

This article develops a typology of social partnership organizations to enhance understanding of the ways these organizations operate in the social arena, as well as their potential for social problem solving. First, social partnerships are carefully defined. Based on the degree of problem “divisibility, ” two key determinants of partnership type are derived: the degree of interdependence among organizations involved in problem solving and the organizational level at which the problem is most salient. From these determinants, three “ideal” partnership types in which there is congruence between the determinants are distinguished: programmatic, federational, and systemic. Characteristics of each ideal type are described, and problems with potential hybrid types are discussed. Propositions are then developed, followed by a discussion of implications for practice and research.

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