The art of partnering. A preparatory research for partnerships between the Eco schools pro-gramme and businesses

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Present day problems like climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and more are so complex that active involvement of all social spheres is needed to resolve them. The Dutch Eco-Schools programme acts upon this notion and aspires to start partnerships with businesses. Their quest is about how to best manage effective partnerships with businesses and this study gives an answer to that question. Several elements appeared essential for a successful partnership. One of them is the energy investment a partner is willing to make. Investing in the foundation of the partnerships relation appeared vital as well, together with the sharing of partners’ expectations for the partnership. Furthermore, the use of a partnership specific agreement and communication plan are recommended, just as appointing a partnership manager. As a preferred way of working together, collaborating on project basis has been advocated. What’s more, is that regular reflection on the partnership is necessary and it was suggested that partners work in short cycles and reflect on these. Important however, is that the success formula of a partnership is context dependent and therefore partnering organizations should discover each other’s needs, assess the context they are working in, and adjust the partnership accordingly.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen