Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type



International Affairs

First Advisor

Susan Clarke


With a growing consensus that traditional philanthropy is ineffective, organizations from conventional sectors (business, nonprofit, etc.) are being nudged toward increasingly hybrid structures, including that of cross-sector collaboration. This multi-method study utilized archival research, surveys, and interviews with 14 practitioners to further explore the field of cross-sector partnership. Despite the development of hybrid models, existing research in the field still relies on grouping organizations based on their legal structures. By asking the question, ―what factors are associated with engagement in cross-sector partnerships to address international development?‖ this study identifies ‗goal orientation‘ as an alternative means by which to categorize organizations. In addition, this study tests the literature‘s assumption that success is determined primarily by the relationship between partners by asking, ―what factors are associated with perceptions of more/less success in such partnerships?‖ The resulting conclusion is that the means by which the partners accomplish their international development goals is a critical factor for success that existing literature largely ignores. Finally, this study suggests that there has been a romanticization of partnerships, and advocates the needs for a more critical view of the field. This study is exploratory in nature and seeks to lay a foundation for future research on cross-sector partnerships, particularly those that consist of hybrid organizations and aims to achieve international development goals.