News from Cass Business School

A match made in heaven?

How businesses and non-profit organisations can make a success of their collaborations

Images of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior engaged in protest activity against oil rigs in the 1970s and 1980s are for many symbolic of the relationship between so-called big business and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). New research, co-authored by Cass Professor Paul Palmer and soon to be published in the Journal of Business Ethics, reveals that this might be changing.

The paper, entitled 'Partnership Formation for Change: Indicators for Transformative Potential in Cross Sector Social Partnerships', confirms that for too long NGOs have viewed businesses with suspicion or have limited their involvement to simply accepting money. However, in this week's Cass Talks Professor Palmer explains that in recent years a number of groups have taken a more progressive approach to partnerships.

The primary case study in the paper is of the successful relationship between Rio Tinto and Earthwatch. The key to the success of this partnership is that both sides benefit form the relationship; Earthwach monetarily and Rio Tinto by having a 'critical friend'. In this case both organisations have identified clear synergies in their operations that can provide mutual benefit. Without this mutual benefit there would be little chance of a lasting and sustainable relationship.

The Cass Talks interviews are an opportunity to hear Cass faculty and prominent alumni give their perspective on current business and finance news stories, global issues affecting the business world and new research coming out of the School. Listen, watch and download Cass Talks and see other Cass academics share their opinions at: www.cass.city.ac.uk/casstalks

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