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nonprofit mergers, interorganizational restructuring, interorganizational relations


This paper addresses a gap in our understanding of why leaders of nonprofit organizations pursue interorganizational restructuring (defined as mergers and similar arrangements). It draws on several theories that explain interorganizational relations as adaptive responses to environmental conditions. The study analyzes four examples of interorganizational restructuring involving 11 nonprofit human service organizations. The research finds that theories emphasizing single-factor motivations (such as the need for resources, power, legitimacy, or greater efficiency) are incomplete; a multiple-factors approach suggested by Oliver's (1991) integrated theory of interorganizational relations provides a more satisfactory basis for theory development. Researchers can use this work to develop a more complete understanding of interorganizational restructuring as a phenomenon; practitioners can use it to inform strategy development.

Publisher Attribution

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Administration in Social Work in 2009, available online: doi:

Campbell, D. A. (2009). Giving up the single life: Leadership motivations for interorganizational restructuring in nonprofit organizations. Administration in Social Work, 33(4), 368-386.



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