Business-NGO Partnerships: The New Development Agents?

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Over the past decade research as well as practice have praised partnerships across private and public sectors as the new transnational governance mechanism to address international development goals. Although some concern has been raised to the efficiency of these CSR partnerships, very little is known is known about their real impact in terms of poverty alleviation in the Global South. In this paper, we draw on theories of development agency and research on partnerships to analyze our empirical study of an internationally acknowledged “best-practice” North-South CSR partnership. We contribute in two ways. First, we extend prior research on development agency as we develop a conceptual framework that proposes the notion of 1st and 2nd tier impact to more specifically analyze and understand the (lack of) wider social impact. Second, we contribute to CSR partnership research by revealing novel empirical insights into how current liberal economic thinking imposes clearly observable constraints on the partnership. Specifically, we demonstrate and discuss how a CSR partnership may in fact serve as an irresponsible governance mechanism based on a non-responsible business model. Finally, we point to a future research agenda for critical investigation of the role of capitalism in CSR partnerships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers - Marriott French Quarter, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 10 Apr 201814 Apr 2018


ConferenceThe Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
LocationMarriott French Quarter
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address

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