The role of intangible resources in public-nonprofit collaborations

Peci, Alketa
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This paper develops and tests a moderated–mediation model that examines how collaborative know-how accumulated by public or nonprofit partners influences their collaborative performance. Collaborative know-how refers to internalized knowledge that arises from collaborative experiences and tends to be overlooked in current research, despite the growing attention being paid to the role of intangible resources on collaborative performance. Our identification strategy consists of panel regression methods that assess the impact of collaborative know-how on the performance of 108 public–nonprofit collaborations among governments and nonprofit hospitals between January 2013 and December 2018. The results indicate that collaborative know-how (measured by collaborations duration and partners’ portfolio of partnerships) is positively associated with two performance dimensions: process and productivity performance. Public and nonprofit partners, with more diverse collaborative experiences, tend to deal more smoothly with funding streams. Nonprofits with broader portfolios of collaborations hire more staff and provide more curative care beds and more inpatient beds for target populations. Older collaborations are less reliant on public funding to deliver higher-quality health services. Our study contributes to collaborative governance scholarship, empirically testing the role of intangible resources on the multidimensional performance of public–nonprofit collaborations, highlighting the moderators and mediators of collaboration and answering the call for more panel data analysis.

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