Civil society and organizational forms

New organizational forms of Danish civil society organizations: Implications of cross-sector project-based partnerships
Today, the environment within which CSOs operate is characterized by an increasing blurring of the traditional sectoral boundaries, exemplified by the growing popularity of cross-sector partnerships and the new sectoral roles and organizational forms that they entail. This project scrutinizes the organizational implications of project-based cross-sector social partnerships (CSSPs), i.e. partnerships that engage the partners on an ongoing and project-oriented basis, and which are explicitly formed in order to address social issues, for instance in relation to poverty, economic development, education, health care, environmental issues etc.  This phenomenon is interesting for a number of reasons, among which, sectoral differences in understanding, goals and practices. 
In Denmark, an increasing number of CSOs and companies enter such partnerships, combining their competencies to achieve goals that would be difficult or impossible to achieve separately.  Nevertheless, there is a lack of in-depth empirical studies of the phenomenon, in contrast to the increasing international interest in the subject. At the same time, the existing international literature has typically been focusing on issues pertaining to businesses from a CSR perspective such as detecting partnership success and failure factors.
This CISTAS project aims at enhancing understanding of the dynamics and tensions of CSSPs, generating insight into organizational perceptions, actions and processes that lead to and underpin CSSPs, focusing on implications of CSSPs in relation to CSO organizational forms, and especially in relation to organizational change and learning. Here,  the notion of ‘organizational form’ is used in the broad sense, i.e. referring  to a number of organizational issues – apart from organizational structure – such as culture, identity, governance, accountability, resource types, external relations, performance, mission, learning, innovation etc. 
At the heart of this project lies a processual and relational view of organization, with an explicit interest on scrutinizing the effects of time and temporality, the connecting power of events, and the process-structure relationship on CSSPs.  The project also aims at exploring how institutions take part in the making, sustaining or dismantling of organizational processes of CSPPs as well as how CSPPs affect different institutional logics. The project started in spring 2017 and will employ a multiple case-study design, studying CSSPs between a number of Danish CSOs and companies.  

This project is carried out by Dimitra Makri Andersen


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