Examining alliance management capabilities in cross-sector collaborative partnerships

Omar Al-Tabbaa, Desmond Leach, Zaheer Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


While there is a significant amount of research on cross-sector collaboration, we still lack an adequate understanding of the nature and dynamics of Alliance Management Capabilities (AMC) that organizations demand when stretching their inter-organizational relationships beyond the boundaries of their sector. We address this gap by investigating the role of AMC in establishing and maintaining cross-sector collaborations, focusing on the perspective of nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Using qualitative data obtained from a diverse group of NPOs that are actively in collaboration with the business sector, we identified a unique set of AMC that are deployed at the pre- and post-formation stages of collaboration, and concomitantly at both stages (or cross-cutting AMC). Moreover, we provide an integrative framework that explains how these capabilities are leveraged and developed within the context of cross-sector collaboration which takes a circular path that comprises strategic actions and learning routines. We draw implications for theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date30 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Alliance management capabilities
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Learning routines
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Nonprofit-business collaboration
  • Strategic actions


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