Governance Challenges for Not-for-Profit Organisations: Empirical Evidence in Support of A Contingency Approach

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Contemporary Management Research, 2016, 12 (1)
Issue Date:
2016-03-01
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This article presents empirical evidence of the governance challenges faced by Australian not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. There is a dearth of academic research in the not-for-profit sector on issues of governance. Using survey and interview data, we explore what NFP leaders believe are key governance challenges, and what this means for theory and practice of NFP governance. We demonstrate that the effectiveness of governance systems is influenced by internal and external contingencies that NFP organisations face, such as variations in board roles, stakeholder and membership demands, funding arrangements, board member recruitment processes, skills of board members, and resources for training and development. We argue for a shift of focus away from prescriptive and normative NFP governance models, and contend that generic best practice governance standards for NFPs ought not to be further pursued, and that a contingency approach is more promising.
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