As public service deliverers, funded by public money and performing tasks on behalf of government, many non-profit organisations (NPOs) are under pressure to increase their performance. More and more NPOs have to prove they work efficiently, effectively and in line with the overall mission. As a result, the challenges these organisations are confronted with put pressure on their management. For NPOs, innovation and performance are managerial key issues. Ultimately, the question is what the factors are that lead to innovation and/or improved organisational performance in NPOs, given their important role in public service delivery, often acting as agents of government. For academics, this creates an ambitious research agenda. With a risk to oversimplify the picture, we could summarise this agenda as consisting of some crucial descriptive and explanatory questions. Major descriptive research questions concern the level of innovative behaviour of NPOs, their performance, and their organisational governance characteristics. In terms of explanations, there is a possible relationship between organisational governance features and organisational performance, between organisational governance features and innovation, and between innovation and organisational performance. In this chapter, we discuss the recent academic research concerning these issues, and, secondly, based on the assessment of this literature, we will propose some directions and challenges for such a research agenda.
Verschuere, B. and Beddeleem, E. (2013), "Organisational Governance Features, Innovation and Performance in Non-Profit Organisations: Existing Evidence and Future Research Directions", Gnan, L., Hinna, A. and Monteduro, F. (Ed.) Conceptualizing and Researching Governance in Public and Non-Profit Organizations (Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-6630(2013)0000001006
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