Purpose – During the last decade, several nonprofit governance codes have emerged in Germany and Switzerland. In contrast to the corporate sector, where one code exists in each country, the nonprofit sector has not unified its initiatives on governance guidelines. This research study searches for reasons of this heterogeneity by analyzing the content of the governance codes.Design/methodology/approach – Based on a comparative content analysis of 15 governance codes from Germany and Switzerland, this survey gives some insight about the different range of issues and levels of detail.Findings – The findings report a great variety among the nonprofit governance codes. Three different clusters are defined in order to classify the governance codes regarding their information detailedness. Some codes present the basic principles, others give detailed information on focused subjects, and some others function as soft law with a large scope. Additionally, the kind of the producers does have an influence on the content of nonprofit governance codes.Research limitations/implications – The survey is limited because of its geographically focus. However, several implications for further research can be drawn, that are of international relevance. Better knowledge is necessary about the implementation of the governance codes. Additionally, further influence factors on the content of governance besides the kind of the producers have to be analyzed. Finally, it would be interesting to test the acceptance of the codes and the participation process of development among a larger group of organizations that complies with a governance code.Originality/value – For the first time, a complete list of all nonprofit governance codes in the two countries was conducted as a basis for this study. Former studies used a smaller sample of governance codes without clarifying the reasons for the selection.
von Schnurbein, G. and Stöckli, S. (2013), "The Codification of Nonprofit Governance – A Comparative Analysis of Swiss and German Nonprofit Governance Codes", 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. 179-202. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-6630(2013)0000001011
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited