Generating value through the involvement of business in the NPO sector : from a NPO landscape

Du Plessis, Tinneke (2014-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Cross-sectoral collaborations between non-profit organisations (NPOs) and the business sector are on the rise. The success of the cross-sectoral collaboration is varied and based upon the value generated for both parties. Most literature around cross-sectoral collaboration has been written with a bias towards the corporate sector, not taking into account the challenges faced by NPOs. This research project focused upon the value generated from collaborations between NPOs and individuals from the corporate sector, within the NPO landscape. The University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (USB-ED) presents a course to develop the skills of senior managers in the Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP). As part of the programme, participants (from the business sector) are required to complete a business driven action learning (BDAL) assignment where they engage NPOs in order to do a strategic analysis and develop a strategic plan for them. The BDAL assignment is not only designed to provide the SMDP participants with the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in the course, but also aims to make a social contribution. Qualitative research methods were employed to study the engagement between the NPOs and the SMDP participants, the outcomes of the BDAL assignment and the perceived value created for the NPOs and SMDP participants. The research was not an evaluation of the BDAL assignment but drew on the information generated from the BDAL assignment to understand how value was generated through the process of business and NPOs working together. Value was generated for the NPOs through the relationship with the SMDP participants and the skills the SMDP participants employed during the collaboration. It was found, however, that the outcome was mostly generated on a strategic level for the NPO. But, as a result of a lack in capacity, the NPOs were not able to maximise the value from the BDAL assignment implementing it on an operational level. Where the SMDP participants were able to close the gap between the strategic and the operational level, through skills transfer and providing practical guidelines, the value increased significantly and operation efficiency increased. The findings on how value was generated through the BDAL assignment and the literature review formed the foundations for the guidelines that are provided for cross-sectoral collaboration, within the NPO landscape. Subsequently, the aim of the study is to enrich the cross-sectoral collaborations between NPOs and business, as well as the BDAL assignment and its outcomes.

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