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The Collaboration Challenge: How Nonprofits and Businesses Succeed Through Strategic Alliances 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1845691318
ISBN-10: 0787952206
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Already this year, in Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value through Business and Social Sector Partnerships, Shirley Sagawa and Eli Segal outlined the benefits of partnerships between businesses and nonprofit organizations. There they profiled seven successful examples of such relationships. Now Austin, author of numerous books on business and management in developing countries and a business professor at Harvard, makes his own similar case in this Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management Leaderbook. He identifies major alliances and examines how they function, looking at the various stages through which they must pass. He explains the role of top leadership and emphasizes the importance of a strategic "fit" between the two partners. Austin suggests different areas within organizations for alignment as well as ways for partners to analyze the value of their collaboration. He then considers ongoing practical management issues and concludes with guidelines for collaborations and questions that must be addressed. David Rouse


"Austin has uncovered the common elements and key strategies that make for effective collaborations.... He gained unprecedented access to the decision makers who instituted and managed these alliances and who provide firsthand accounts of their successes, trials, and lessons learned.... In The Collaboration Challenge, he illuminates these key lessons for all leaders, and makes it possible for each of us to meet the collaboration challenge."
Frances Hesselbein, chairman of the board of governors, The Drucker Foundation, and John C. Whitehead, founder, The John C. Whitehead Fund for Not-for-Profit Management, Harvard Business School

"Austin has performed a valuable service for nonprofit organizations and their corporate partners by illuminating the dynamics of successful relationships. His useful book deserves to be widely read by leaders in both sectors concerned about increasing the effectiveness of their social action agenda."
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, author of World Class and Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management

"The entire nonprofit sector has been searching for the expertise and tools this book provides. Nothing else like it exists."
Bill Shore, executive director of Share-Our-Strength and author of The Cathedral Within and Revolution of the Heart

"It's hard to imagine managers crafting a leading partnership and not applying all this book has to offer. It does a fantastic job in offering leaders crisp principles to be applied in navigating the landscape of collaborations."
Ken Freitas, vice president of social enterprise, Timberland Company

"Superbly provides a framework of order and understanding. I wish I had had this book to share with staff and board members during my tenure at Outward Bound. It will accelerate the coming together of the sectors."
Allen Grossman, Bloomberg Senior Lecturer in Philanthropy, Harvard University, and former CEO of Outward Bound

"The book provides wonderful case studies, strong insights, and solid frameworks that I plan to use in my own nonprofit course next year."
Marc Lindenberg, dean and professor, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, and former senior vice president of CARE

"A very timely book of landmark collaborations between nonprofits and businesses set within conceptual frameworks that provide both academics and practitioners guidance on how to make alliances better."
Alan R. Andreasen, professor of marketing, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, and author of Marketing Social Change


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787952206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845691318
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Foundation News and Commentary
July/August 2001
Vol. 42, No. 4
Review by Beth Brown
We all want to partner. We all speak of collaborative spirit. But when the rubber meets the road, what does collaboration really entail, and what's the difference between a deal and an alliance?
James Austin breaks down the notion of collaboration into a must-read users guide for any organizational leader embarking on a collaboration. And although the book is geared toward corporations and their nonprofit partners, many of the lessons are universal and can be applied to any individual or organization considering a joint venture, be it a marriage or cross-sector alliance.
Austin notes the role serendipity and personal relationships plays in introducing partnerships-a conversation in a coffee shop or during a long plane ride-often sparking the "ah-ha" moment leading to the realization that a corporation and a nonprofit have what Austin calls mission mesh. The organizations' leaders can see how their visions' core competencies can make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Through in-depth and candid examples from partnerships, including those between Starbucks and CARE, Timberland and City Year, and American Eagle Outfitters and Jumpstart, Austin chronicles the necessary, and often awkward, stages businesses and nonprofits pass through in order to become strategic partners.
Austin has a healthy skepticism for the ease of collaboration. He often likens it to dating, and as with a courting pair from different countries, he sees the cultural and values barriers between the sectors as the greatest obstacle to collaboration.
Read more ›
Comment 19 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This is timely management book should be read by all those interested in leading, or advocating, a strategic alliance between a business and a non-profit, or by those who are already involved in such an alliance.
The issues covered by the book are very topical. Strategic alliances have become increasingly important to organizational survival. In addition, some organizations, including businesses, recognize that, for the long haul, they need to be in closer harmony with deeper aspirations of their customers, employees and shareholders. Others oppose such approaches as a dangerous temptation to fuzzy thinking and conflicted agendas. Yet others view the non-economic motives of their constituents as only relevant to marketing campaigns or high-minded mission statements.
This practical book addresses these opportunities and challenges systematically and with insight. It doesn't push quick fixes or high-risk strategies, but rather presents processes and analytical frameworks that support sequential acts of collaboration.
The author is a good teacher and effectively uses case studies to support his recommendations. His approach is practical and recognizes the reality that every relationship involves an exchange of value. His emphasis is on having clear agendas and then searching together for common outcomes built around relative strengths.
Comment 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Issue of non profit organizations and business partnership is discussed from perspective of what strategies and knowledge is necessary to achieve effective collaboration. Author leads through stages of developing this collaborative partnership and provides tools to measure both success and its potential.

I wish author would include more material on collaboration for companies from similar industry. In order to get a broader understanding of other type of partnerships, one chapter about that would have been a good idea to include in the next book revisions.
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By A Customer on November 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At the Independent Sector's annual meeting in Atlanta on November 6, Professor James Austin of the Harvard Business School's Initiative on Social Enterprise was awarded one of The Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Prizes for 2001for his book The Collaboration Challenge: How Nonprofits and Businesses Succeed Through Strategic Alliances. The two Prizes recognize outstanding published research that furthers understanding of philanthropy, voluntary action, nonprofits, and civil society in the United States and abroad. The Prize Selection Committee is comprised of five senior academic researchers and practitioners and is chaired by Professor Howard Tuckman, Dean of the Business School at Rutgers University. The prize is named in honor of Virginia Ann Hodgkinson, who is renowned worldwide as a driving force behind the development of research on the nonprofit sector and voluntary action.
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