Collaboration Between Businesses and Social Service Nonprofits as Organized Anarchy: The Insider Perspective

Noga Pitowsky-Nave*, Michal Almog-Bar, Hillel Schmid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on the collaboration between businesses and Social Service Nonprofits (SSNs) emphasizes the importance of strategic management, based on joint governance and rational decision-making. This article presents a multiple case study analysis of four cross-sector collaborations, between for-profit business organizations and SSNs. The study examined the dynamics of interorganizational collaborations and their management in different stages of the collaboration. Data were collected from 36 in-depth interviews with key players from both organization types. The findings revealed that collaborations were based mainly on non-systematic decision-making and sporadic oral communication, with high participant turnover. Strategic planning was mostly absent, as were attempts to institutionalize administrative processes and procedures, form a new type of governance, and conclude formal agreements. An “organized anarchy” model is proposed to analyze the relations between the organizations and their operations during the collaboration period. Implications for future business-SSN collaborations and for collaboration management are presented and discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Service Organizations Management, Leadership and Governance
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Business-SSN collaboration
  • cross-sector collaboration
  • nonprofit organization (NPO)
  • organized anarchy
  • social service nonprofits (SSNs)


Dive into the research topics of 'Collaboration Between Businesses and Social Service Nonprofits as Organized Anarchy: The Insider Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this