By Laurence Schwesinger Berlie
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Extra resources for Alliances for Sustainable Development: Business and NGO Partnerships
81 Establishing reputation helps win consumer loyalty 82 and has great marketing potential. 83 Lastly, it helps companies receive better ratings by investors and rating agencies. 88 Generally, this search for credibility does not come alone but is related to a desire to obtain other NGO resources. It often involves a knowledge–credibility couplet as exemplified by the alliance between McDonald’s (Oak Brook, IL, USA) and the Environmental Defense Fund (New York): In 1988, American ecologists began a vociferous campaign against McDonald’s condemning the waste generated by the fast-food sector.
Partnering with local NGOs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Casablanca, Morocco, worked with local communities to the install and distribute drinking water (Pastore-Reiss and Naillon, 2002). The same type of collaboration in Afghanistan is described by Waddell (1999). Managing a natural resource of common interest: [The] Nature Conservancy and Georgia-Pacific, in the USA, set up a partnership in 1994 to jointly manage the land and forests belonging to the forestry company Georgia-Pacific (for further details, see Austin, 1999).
65 • Companies and NGOs still show great scepticism concerning the reliability of one another as partners. • NGOs are conscious of an asymmetry of power with regard to large multinational corporations66 and are afraid of being coopted by them. The point of view I’m putting forward below is that an alliance is the result of a choice of strategic behaviour rather than the response to an unequivocal demonstration of the alliance benefits. 2 Strategic behaviour at the centre of the decision-making process In general, the literature explains the emergence of corporate–NGO alliances relying on the factors we have just mentioned.