Towards a typology of governance mechanisms in cross-sector partnerships based on multiple agency theory

Jihye Kim, Ji-Won Song, Dhruba Borah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


We use the multiple agency theory to explain the governance issues in cross-sector partnerships. In doing so, we identify five typologies of cross-sector partnerships, each distinct from one another in terms of the governance structure. We also discuss three problems that occur in these relationships, mainly differences in institutional logic, temporal differences, and free-riding and opportunistic behaviour, as well as how these problems affect each type of cross-sector partnership. These findings make several contributions to the literature. First, this is one of the few studies to use agency theory to examine the governance structures in cross-sector partnerships. Second, our study further contributes to solidifying our understanding of the agency problems arising in such partnerships. Lastly, our study explains that these problems do not affect each type in the same way, leading us to offer more nuanced implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Business and SDG 8
Subtitle of host publicationExploring the Relationship between IB and Society
EditorsNoemi Sinkovics, Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Mehdi Boussebaa, Margaret Fletcher
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783031468025
ISBN (Print)9783031468018, 9783031468049
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2024

Publication series

NameThe Academy of International Business
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2662-1223
ISSN (Electronic)2662-1231


  • cross-sector partnerships
  • Multiple agency theory
  • Governance structure
  • Agency problems
  • Sustainable development goals


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