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Corporate Reporting of Cross-Sector Alliances: The Portfolio of NGO Partners Communicated on Corporate Websites

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Nongovernmental organization (NGO)-corporate alliances are a strategic type of institutional positioning communication. From a sample of 155 US Fortune 500 corporations and 695 NGOs drawn from corporations' websites, this research examines: (a) the number of NGOs with which corporations communicate alliances; (b) the patterns of communicated alliances that exist between corporations in economic industries and NGOs in social issue industries; and (c) the relationship between corporate stakeholders and the communication of alliances with NGOs in particular social issues. This research tests the propositions of Symbiotic Sustainability Model concerning the number and type of NGO alliances likely to be communicated by corporations. In particular, this research demonstrates that most corporations only communicate alliances with a few NGOs and with one NGO in an issue industry. In addition, the results suggest that corporations in the same economic industry are likely to communicate alliances with different NGOs in the same issue industries. In combination, these findings imply that a small set of social issues are likely to be included in NGO-corporate communication. Exploring this implication, this research reports preliminary findings about communicated alliances between corporations in 11 economic industries and NGOs in 59 social issue industries.
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Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Interorganizational Networks; NGO; Symbiotic Sustainability Model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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