Challenges and strategies of building and sustaining inter-organizational partnerships in sport for development and peace

Jon Welty Peachey, Adam Cohen, Nari Shin, Bruno Fusaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While sport management scholars have explored inter-organizational partnerships and their associated challenges, they have devoted less attention to inter-organizational partnership development and sustainability in sport for development and peace (SDP), particularly across a wide range of organizations with varied missions and foci. Hence, the purpose of this qualitative study was to examine challenges faced by SDP organizations when forming and sustaining inter-organizational partnerships across contexts and partnership types, and to uncover strategies they have employed to overcome these challenges. Common challenges encountered across 29 SDP organizations included competition for resources, skepticism of sport as a development tool, unequal power relations, misaligned goals and mission drift, and implementation issues. Strategies included focusing on building relationships and networks, demonstrating benefits to partner, starting small then diversifying, keeping focused on mission and goals, involving partner, and treating the partnership as a business relationship. Theoretical extensions and practical implications are discussed, along with directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-175
Number of pages16
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Collaboration theory
  • Inter-organizational partnerships
  • Inter-organizational relationships
  • Nonprofit sport
  • Nonprofit sport organizations
  • Sport for development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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