Governance and Performance in Public and Non-Profit Organizations: Volume 5

Cover of Governance and Performance in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
Subject:

Table of contents

(15 chapters)
click here to view access options

List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
click here to view access options

Part I: Governance and Performance in Public Sector

Purpose

The purpose of this contribution is to investigate whether popular reports can strengthen public governance by fostering greater transparency and public participation.

Methodology/approach

The analysis is based on the case of the “Bilancio in Arancio” of the Municipality of Milan. Data are collected through a triangulation of sources, including the authors’ direct observation, conversational interviews, the press, and a questionnaire distributed to the citizens participating in the experience.

Findings

The analysis discusses how popular reports can improve Public Governance, and identify related critical issues. More specifically, four key aspects of Popular reporting appear to play a central role in strengthening governance, that is, their capacity to ensure greater transparency, neutrality, enhanced participation and impacts on decision making. We suggest that every aspect represents an important “step” to be taken in an ideal “ladder of participation.”

Practical implications

Governments that want to enhance public governance may have an interest in developing popular reports, paying attention at ensuring transparency, neutrality, stakeholders’ participation, and their contribution to decision-making processes.

Social implications

Popular reports can provide to citizens the education on public budgeting issues required to consciously participate in public decision-making processes and give them greater voice and power to express their instances. Popular reports can also promote a two-way communication and dialogue between citizens and governments.

Originality/value

Drawing on the experience of the Municipality of Milan, more general lessons are learnt on the role of popular reports in strengthening public governance, and on the related strengths and weaknesses.

Purpose

This chapter aims to contribute to the literature on public governance and its link to corruption. In particular, the chapter presents conceptual arguments for better understanding the ways in which public governance choices may affect corruption levels, thus identifying governance policies, mechanisms, and roles that can contribute in fighting and preventing corruption at macro-, meso- and micro-levels of analysis.

Methodology/approach

Starting from a macro-, meso- and micro-perspectives, this chapter is based on a literature review in order to understand connections between public governance and corruption.

Findings

Even if literature on the causes of public corruption are analysed from the macro-, meso-, and micro-perspectives, contributions of public governance scholars in relation to anticorruption efforts are mainly concentrated on a macro-perspective of analysis, while only a limited number of scholars offer a reflection on the possible interdependencies among governance policies and instruments and anticorruption efforts at the organizational level.

Originality/value

Despite the importance of the meso- and micro-perspectives, the literature review presented in this chapter shows us an important gap on the definition of which governance mechanisms and instruments or organizational policies are important to carry out in order to prevent or fight corruption, thus highlighting the need to improve research on this important field.

Purpose

The study aims to contribute to the literature on board behavior and performance in public sector organizations, by investigating conflicts as a fundamental and inevitable part of interactions between board members. Despite impressive advances in studying the behavioral dimensions of governing bodies, several gaps still remain in our knowledge, especially for public sector boards. These face specific challenges related to multiple, conflicting, and ambiguous goals.

Methodology/approach

Earlier studies identified four different types of conflict (affective, cognitive, interest, and authority conflicts). These were used to guide a systematic literature review considering the source and the nature of conflicts to classify and describe the state of knowledge on the topic.

Findings

Most academic contributions emphasized cognitive and interest conflicts, suggesting that solving them was essential to improve board performance and enable boards to create value. The results suggest the utility of broadening the perspective of the governing board role, moving beyond agency and institutional theory, taking into consideration resource dependence theory as an alternative perspective to investigate board roles and task expectations.

Originality/value

Understanding conflicts within public boards is an interesting challenge from several perspectives. First, it provides a deep look inside board decision-making processes using a behavioral perspective. Second, analyzing the nature and sources of conflict places boards in a better position to address complex political issues. Finally, resolving conflicts may lead boards to channel their energies into collaborative activities that stimulate best practices, facilitate mutual awareness, and generate commitment to cooperation inside and outside the boardroom.

Purpose

In the past decades, Dutch public sector organizations (PSOs) have been encouraged to become more “business-like” in their internal control and accountability processes, following a more general trend toward New Public Management (NPM) in Western societies. However, in the Netherlands, this trend has met with increasing resistance and discontent among public sector professionals. In this chapter, a framework is developed that enables these public sector professionals themselves to discuss and reflect on their internal control and accountability processes, and possibly to effect changes in it.

Methodology/approach

The chapter contains a critical analysis of existing research on management control, accountability, and learning in PSOs and describes a reflection and discussion session with a group of senior staff employees at a Dutch university, employing the framework developed in this chapter.

Findings

It is argued that, generally speaking, the “business-like” approach of NPM does not appear appropriate for most public sector activities and may even negatively affect accountability and learning in PSOs.

Social implications

The chapter critically assesses the impact of NPM on PSOs and provides an alternative to NPM in the form of experimentalist governance, with possible positive implications for the effectiveness of public sector activities.

Originality/value

This chapter is among the first to adapt a framework, developed for scientific and descriptive use, for more practical and prescriptive purposes, that is, as an instrument for public sector professionals to discuss and reflect on their internal control and accountability processes.

Purpose

This study assess how governments can nurture innovation activities by supporting the research of individual companies, establishing new networks for innovation activities, and by contributing to the general contextual factors supporting innovative behavior.

Methodology/approach

This chapter analyzes alternative possibilities for the governance of innovation support and develops a framework to evaluate the governance of innovation support activities provided by a national innovation agency.

The framework is developed by analyzing how the governance principles in various national innovation systems have emerged when the countries have pursued low-carbon innovation strategies.

Findings

This chapter empirically shows a need to broaden the perspective on what can be expected from an adaptive innovation system, as well as the new types of arrangements facing public-private innovation collaboration.

Originality/value

This chapter explores new opportunities for the research community to further the understanding of how to apply various governance mechanisms in different contexts of innovation support especially relating to multi-level governance and co-governing.

Part II: Governance and Performance in Non-Profit Sector

Purpose

The literature considers three main models of nonprofit sector structure and development: liberal, welfare partnership, and social democratic. This study analyzes the cases of Italian and Canadian nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that operate in two third-sector contexts, widely known as “hybrids.” In particular, we aim to verify whether some features of governance, leadership, and volunteer participation have impacts on the financial performances of selected Italian and Canadian NPOs.

Methodology/approach

Differences between the two studied nonprofit contexts influenced the sampling, the data collection, and the methods of analysis. Data on Italian and Canadian NPOs are analyzed both together and separately, using multiple regression models. Revenues, fund-raising and other grants from the general public, and program expenses are used as measurements of financial performance.

Findings

Our analysis demonstrates that some board characteristics, as well as volunteer participation and representation on the board, have impacts on the nonprofit financial performance. The characteristics of the CEO studied in this work are not significantly associated with the level of financial performance.

Research implications/limitations

This study has several important implications for research on board characteristics, CEO characteristics and volunteer management and governance, as well as implications for practitioners. The limitations of this study are related mostly to the different methods used for sampling NPOs and collecting data in the two different country contexts due to the different level of availability of data.

Originality/value

The past literature has not adequately examined the relationships among the board and CEO characteristics, the role of volunteers in governance and financial performance.

Purpose

Based on stakeholder theory, human resource management literature, and the main research streams on engagement, this study aims to develop and validate a scale of stakeholder engagement specifically suitable for the social enterprise domain. Despite the evidence that stakeholder management is crucial and specific for the social enterprise domain, there is not yet an established measure of stakeholder engagement that can be used to foster the design of the effective organizational practices to manage the specific stakeholder relationship in the social enterprise context.

Methodology/approach

A survey among 328 social enterprise stakeholders working in a variety of enterprises, roles, jobs (i.e., employees, social entrepreneurs, and volunteers) enables us to validate a comprehensive and multidimensional scale of stakeholder engagement.

Findings

The new measure includes dimensions of job, enterprise, organizational formula, professional, and social engagement. Results advance some practical and theoretical considerations both for the social enterprise research and for the engagement literature.

Purpose

Positivist deductive research on transformational leadership brings along with it 25 years of researcher presuppositions. Such research not only suggests that a transformational leader’s influence is unidirectional but also that transformational leadership theory is a universal theory. In this chapter, I inductively seek to examine board-executive director interactions, free from the shackles of existing theory.

Methodology/approach

The current chapter uses an inductive research approach to the collection and analysis of the empirical material. By being open to surprises in the empirical material, I am able to explore behaviors and relationships, while analyzing a specific context – the nonprofit board-executive director relationship.

Findings

The current study finds evidence that individualized consideration in a governance model frequently occurs in the opposite direction. Despite organizational documents promoting a hierarchical structure, evidence of top-down, collegiality, and bottom-up individualized consideration suggests hierarchical boundaries are commonly crossed in the decision making process.

Research implications

Results of this exploratory study suggest that in a governance context, hierarchical actors do not fit neatly into the boxes defined by 30 years of research on transformational leadership theory, suggesting that the leadership process is more complex than portrayed by current dichotomizations. The findings provide support for recent criticisms of transformational leadership theory.

Practical implications

The findings of this chapter provide evidence of the benefits of eliciting input from organizational actors at multiple hierarchical levels. The empirical evidence provides practitioners with a fresh perspective on board roles and relationship, diverging from the traditional structural prescriptions.

Purpose

This chapter investigates the impact of coordination and control mechanisms on the orientation to performances, looking at the relation between Corporate Foundations and their Founder Firms. The research starts from the consideration that the relationship between CFs and Founder Firms can be considered similar to the relationship between headquarter and subsidiaries in large corporations, as the ties are very strong and significant.

Methodology/approach

In order to address the impact of control and coordination mechanisms on CFs’ orientation to performance, we managed a survey addressed to 188 CFs from six European countries, representing the most significant context for corporate philanthropy in Europe.

Findings

The results of a linear regression show that only selected mechanisms are effective for boosting CFs’ orientation to performance, and that these tools must be adapted to the specific nature of the CFs.

Research implications

The study can help Founder Firms to identify the more effective mechanisms to improve the performance of the CFs they support, in order to ensure the possibility for both the parties to pursue the shared value creation.

Originality/value

The research has put in evidence that CFs must be explored taking into consideration their close tie to Founder Firm, which differentiates them from other interdependent foundations.

Purpose

This chapter seeks to contribute to a better understanding of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) use of practices for the purpose of organizational sustainability by highlighting the need for conducive performance measures and standards attached to NPO funding sources.

Methodology/approach

A review of literature for the UK Non-profit organization sector and NPO performance measures. The review structures literature as it relates to the non-profit sector and their relation to societal impact of human social service (HSS) non-profit organizations, non-profit performance measures, and processes of knowledge sharing in application of organizational evaluation.

Findings

This chapter provides a review of gaps in the literature referring suitable performance measurement and assessments suitable for the unique culture and approaches to performance measures of non-profit organizations. Future research implications suggest research in order to comprehend processes and procedures of performance measures inclusive of knowledge sharing and the processes of how non-profit learn, share, and evaluate internal and external to the NPO sector.

Originality/value

The value of this chapter is relevant for the public, government, and corporations to support efficient and effective ways in appropriating funds and defining successful NPO’s for external funders to invest.

Cover of Governance and Performance in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
DOI
10.1108/S2051-663020165
Publication date
2016-04-18
Book series
Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78635-108-1
eISBN
978-1-78635-107-4
Book series ISSN
2051-6630