• Rikke Bech Espersen
  • Cathrine Gerdes
  • Mille Schjøtler Jacobsen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In this master thesis we wanted to investigate cross-sector collaborations between non-profit organisations and private companies aimed at groups of deprived youngsters in Denmark. To study this, we have focused on the case of headspace Esbjerg+. The headspace+ project is a collaboration between the non-profit organisation headspace+ and private companies within the area of Esbjerg. Together they offer a job try-out for socially or/and mentally vulnerable adolescents between 18 to 25 years. The job try-out lasts for four months and is fully salaried. The purpose is to create successful experiences for the vulnerable adolescents and thereby inspire selfconfidence and a connection to the educational system or job-market.
The starting point for our analysis derives from two hypotheses that we developed based on our interest within the research field of cross-sector collaborations between profit and non-profits and knowledge of theory within this research area. These hypotheses have led us to investigate what motivates organisations to cooperate beyond their own sector. We have studied how such collaborations are characterized and how the stage of the cooperation impacts the partners’ relationship. In order to study this, we use theoretical concepts of Klausen and Austin theories. This enabled us to create our own theoretical tool, which we have applied to our empirical material. We have conducted an analysis of documents about the cross-sector collaboration. Moreover, we have conducted semi-structured interviews with employees from both the companies and the non-profit organisation with knowledge about the collaboration.
We have a hermeneutical standpoint to our research of this case. This implies that throughout the analysis we have alternated between our theory and empirical material to gain new knowledge of our hypotheses. Based on the results, we draw conclusions to answer our research question. We find that sector characteristics work as drivers of motivation for both the non-profit organisations and private companies. We believe that characteristics from another sector can contribute with supplements to the work of the organisation within its particular sector.
Furthermore, we find that the collaboration between headspace+ and the private companies is formed to co-create value for the group of deprived adolescents within the community of Esbjerg. The focus on co-creation is one among other characteristics from which we can place the collaboration within the integrative and transformative stage. As our results derived from a case study, generalisations based on these results should be made with caution. We concluded that the drivers of motivation must count for other collaborations between non-profit and private organisations, as these are bound to the organisations archetype of sector characteristics. Contrary to this, we are more careful with making generalisations of our results concerning collaboration characteristics and stages, as we find these to be very context bound. Other collaborations where it is an essential element to co-create value for a group in society might also be placed in the integrative or/and transformative stage. We conclude that several of our results can be applied in future headspace+ projects.
Publication date31 May 2015
Number of pages112
ID: 213317763