Does environmental responsibility matter in cross-sector partnership formation? A legitimacy perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

27 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-621
Journal / PublicationJournal of Environmental Management
Online published31 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


This study aims to explore the effects of corporate environmental responsibility on firms that partner with NGOs. On the basis of the contrasting mechanisms of needs and opportunities for legitimacy seeking, we propose an inverted U-shaped relationship between a firm's environmental responsibility and its propensity to form partnerships with NGOs, and the contingent effect of political ties. Empirical analyses of cross-sector partnerships between private firms and NGOs in China provide support for the hypotheses. Our study emphasizes the importance of a firm's environmental responsibility in forming collaborative ties with NGOs, and offers new insights on the dual role of legitimacy in organizational partnerships.

Research Area(s)

  • Cross-sector partnership, Environmental responsibility, NGO in emerging countries, Organizational legitimacy