Corporate Strategy, Alliances,
and Collective Action
Application of the mission, strategy, and execution frameworks is most straightforward in the context of a single, strategically distinct business, or [pure player.] Though not easy by any stretch of the imagination, the analysis is less difficult for simple organizations and industries than it is for complex organizations or industries. However, many nonprofits find themselves dealing with problems, pursuing aspirations, and operating in environments that are becoming more and more ambitious and multifaceted. Not surprisingly, this leads to the emergence of multibusiness or multiprogram organizations. Such structures create the need to manage the interaction among autonomous units or divisions within an organization, or what we will refer to as intraorganizational relationships.
In addition to these internal challenges, nonprofit leaders increasingly have to deal with cooperative interorganizational relationships, such as alliances and partnerships. These bilateral and trilateral relationships tend to arise from strategies that require firms to create or access resources beyond their individual capabilities. As a result, organizations establish formal ties that allow them to combine their resources and expertise in pursuit of shared and individual goals. Thus, the fundamental nature of an alliance is cooperative, as opposed to the competitive interorganizational relationships analyzed in chapters 2 and 3.1
Finally, there are some strategic objectives that require even broader levels of collaboration. In particular, large-scale efforts to influence the environment facing an entire class of organizations (e.g., an industry) require coordinated action that not only transcends organizational boundaries, but engages the majority, or at least a critical mass, of industry