We offer an anatomic analysis of a social partnership among a complex network of stakeholder organizations. Contributions of this research are twofold. First, we use explanatory case data to develop a framework of stakeholder collaboration in a complex setting involving a mix of for-profit and non-profit organizations. Our study is motivated by a need for understanding about how organizations can work within social partnerships to achieve their goals (be they profit related or otherwise). Second, we offer insight about lateral relationship exchange from the view of the entire project-a perspective not typically employed in the domain of relationship marketing. The focal issue in the case, use of technology to improve highway safety, is a social initiative which further sets our study apart in the relationship marketing literature. Using fieldnotes from 33 in-depth interviews, we employ a mix of inductive and deductive reasoning to formulate a conceptual framework and research propositions for the social partnership. The conceptual framework offers in-depth understanding of social partnership development and relationship dynamics. This, in turn, may help stakeholders achieve organizational goals more effectively in this unique environment. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.