Beth A. Birmingham, Ph.D. is a 2006 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Alan Guskin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Daniel Rickett, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Roland Hoksbergen, Ph.D., Committee Member


Partnership, Non-Governmental Organization, University, Value; Benefits, Case Study

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The purpose of this research is to study how non-profit organizations create value from partnerships, specifically, partnerships between academic institutions and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Apart from the goals of the partnership per se, how do they create long term value for their respective organizations separate from the partnership outcomes? Educational partnerships between academic institutions and other sectors have become common and somewhat necessary in the past decade. The NGOs examined in this study benefited from partnership with an academic institution in the areas of staff development and organizational capacity building. The universities in this study benefited from direct involvement with practitioners in the sectors of their degree programs and research interests. This study is a longitudinal, multiple case study that examines the theoretical concept of value creation as relevant to these NGO and University partnerships. Three different partnerships were analyzed using primarily qualitative data from semi-structured interviewing at two different points in time, field notes and partnership document review. The participants were designers and managers of their organizational partnerships. Qualitative thematic analysis was used as a tool to examine the interview transcripts. The primary themes that emerged across the partnership cases revolve around (a) partnership design; (b) value in partnering - how it’s created, captured and assessed; and (c) relationship management. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the OhioLINK ETD Center,