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Commentary on Chapter 9

The Third Sector

ISBN: 978-1-78052-280-7, eISBN: 978-1-78052-281-4

Publication date: 8 November 2011


How do you steer an organization that is not able to steer itself? How do you influence an organization's ability for self-organization? How do you empower a nonprofit organization (NPO) in South Africa in order to help them to organize themselves in ways that make it possible for donors in the West to collaborate with them in different international aid projects? And how do NPOs react in response to the West's attempts to empower them? These are the questions that Frederik Claeyé addresses in his chapter about how Western donors shape the governance structures and management practices of South African NPOs. To begin, Claeyé shows how the Western ideological discourse of managerialism that emphasizes accountability, organizational definition, and capacity building is enacted as a means to achieve the political aims of effective funding. He then shows how a sample of South African NPOs reacted to these external attempts to organize their own self-organization. Here, Claeyé isolates three ideal types of reactions: conformism, resistance, and hybridity. In conclusion, Claeyé critiques the global ideology of management discourse for being weighted in favor of Western techniques of management at the expense of the South African culture of Ubuntu, here understood as reciprocity and solidarity. The ideology of Western management practices has a limited understanding of, and limited room for, Ubuntu. The effect of this ideology, functioning as a “regime of truth” in the Foucauldian sense of the term, is hybridization, which Claeyé identifies as the individual translation by South African NPOs of the Western requirement for structure.


la Cour, A. (2011), "Commentary on Chapter 9", Hull, R., Gibbon, J., Branzei, O. and Haugh, H. (Ed.) The Third Sector (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 259-261.



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