The symbiotic sustainability model is a theory focusing on the pattern and outcomes of partnerships between nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and for-profit corporations. The model is important for the study of corporate reputation, because corporations often form relationships with NGOs to enhance aspects of their reputation.

The theory assumes that communicating the existence and character of the cross-sector relationship to the stakeholder is more important than the resources exchanged within the relationship. Through communication, corporations and NGOs try to convince stakeholders of the legitimacy and character of the relationship in order to reap rewards. Stakeholders include consumers, activists, and legislators. This entry first describes several types of relationships between corporations and NGOs. It then details the key propositions of the symbiotic sustainability model concerning co-construction, ...

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