Company–Nonprofit Partnerships, Negative Spillover, and Response Strategies

Sun Young Lee, Hyejoon Rim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study explored whether, in the context of a company–nonprofit partnership, there are negative spillover effects when a crisis strikes a partner organization and what effective response strategies to such a crisis would be for the principal organization. We conducted an online experiment (N = 445) with a 2 (duration of partnership: long-term vs. short-term) × 4 (response strategy: denial, ending partnership, continuing partnership, vs. no response) between-subject design, with two no-crisis control groups. The results confirmed the existence of negative spillover effects; when respondents were exposed to crisis information about a partner organization, their attitude toward the principal organization became less favorable. We found that, regardless of the partnership’s duration, announcing a decision about the partnership—either ending the partnership or continuing the partnership—was not effective in restoring the principal organization’s image. Denial strategies, however, significantly improved the image of the principal organization, up to its precrisis level. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-208
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2017


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