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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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What Drives Corporations to Engage? A look at Partnerships through the Lens of Resource Dependence Theory

Despite the importance of ‘exchange’ to the vitality of organizational continuity, relatively little is written on the relative influence of several key attributes - namely corporate reputation and corporate size - on the probability of organizations entering into partnering arrangements. This is especially problematic because the aforementioned relationships are critical in today’s increasingly fluctuating business environments where sufficiency and sustainability are far from guaranteed. This paper therefore applies central postulates of Resource Dependence Theory to investigate these phenomena. Specifically, I propose and then test a conceptual model of a corporation’s probability of entering into a partnering exchange by examining 33 firms across 3 years. Results were generally supportive of corporate size but not of corporate reputation as a predictor of probable partnering exchanges. I conclude by considering the main insights and implications of this for organization scholars and managers.

Derek Offer
Lubin School of Business, Pace University
United States


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