Evaluating the Role of Government Collaboration in the Perceived Performance of Community-Based Nonprofits: Three Propositions

Source: José Nederhand, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Advance Articles, December 28, 2020
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From the abstract:
The topic of government-nonprofit collaboration continues to be much-discussed in the literature. However, there has been little consensus on whether and how collaborating with government is beneficial for the performance of community-based nonprofits. This article examines three dominant theoretical interpretations of the relationship between collaboration and performance: collaboration is necessary for the performance of nonprofits; the absence of collaboration is necessary for the performance of nonprofits; and the effect of collaboration is contingent on the nonprofits’ bridging and bonding network ties. Building on the ideas of governance, nonprofit, and social capital in their respective literature, this article uses set-theoretic methods (fsQCA) to conceptualize and test their relationship. Results show the pivotal role of the nonprofit’s network ties in mitigating the effects of either collaborating or abstaining from collaborating with government. Particularly, the political network ties of nonprofits are crucial to explaining the relationship between collaboration and performance. The evidence demonstrates the value of studying collaboration processes in context.