Corporate Foundations: Catalysts of NGO-Business Partnerships?

Heidi Herlin, Janni Thusgaard Pedersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This paper aims to explore the potential of Danish corporate foundations as boundary organizations facilitating relationships between their founding companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Hitherto, research has been silent about the role of corporate foundations in relation to cross-sector partnerships. The results of this paper are based on interviews, participant observations, and organizational documents from a 19-month empirical study of a Danish corporate foundation. Findings suggest that corporate foundations have potential to act as boundary organizations and facilitate collaborative action between business and NGOs through convening, translation, collaboration, and mediation. Our study provides valuable insights into the tri-part relationship of company foundation NGO by discussing the implications of corporate foundations taking an active role in the realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The paper hence illuminates the fascinating and overlooked role of corporate foundations as potential bridges between business and civil society. It also informs theory on boundary organizations by clarifying challenges and limits of such institutions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Corporate Citizenship
    Issue number50
    Pages (from-to)58-90
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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