Applying the Repertory Grid Technique to Advance Nonprofit Collaboration: A Situational Theory of Partner Selection
Author ORCID Identifier
Julie Langer: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1864-0351
A truism of modern organizational life is that organizations collaborate. They may collaborate to meet client needs, acquire resources, or gain legitimacy. They may be required to collaborate by funders, but have little direction beyond this basic mandate. In this situation, how do managers choose collaborative partners? What is important to them and when is it important? While institutional and resource-dependence theories emphasize environmental factors driving collaboration, only recently has attention has been given to factors individuals identify as important when making choices about who to collaborate with, and for what purpose. This study uses the repertory grid technique, an innovative method based on personal construct theory, to explore what is important in the minds of nonprofit managers when navigating the world of collaboration and partner selection. The results reveal that managers prioritize different traits when selecting partners depending on the type of collaboration. We conclude with a review of current collaboration theories, where the findings from this study support and deviate from them and offer five new propositions about the complex, situation-dependent nature of partner selection in the minds of nonprofit practitioners.
Nonprofit collaboration, Repertory grid technique, Workforce development
Langer, Julie; Siciliano, Michael; and LeRoux, Kelly, "Applying the Repertory Grid Technique to Advance Nonprofit Collaboration: A Situational Theory of Partner Selection" (2022). NIU Bibliography. 48.
Department of Public Administration