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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Joan Bailey

An enormous amount of time is spent talking about the involvement of the voluntary and community sector with crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs) and yet the…

Abstract

An enormous amount of time is spent talking about the involvement of the voluntary and community sector with crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs) and yet the reality is that the approach to the way that statutory services work with them continues to be mostly tokenistic. Whilst the government advocates the necessity of closer working relationships with voluntary or community organisations, few of these organisations play an integral part in working alongside most CDRPs as they discharge their responsibilities under the Crime and Disorder Act (1998). This article highlights the importance of CDRPs recognising how well placed the voluntary and community sector is in enabling them to plan, implement and evaluate their work.

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Safer Communities, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Tamara Essex

There has been much research focusing on contracting and its effect on individual voluntary sector organisation, and some mapping of the extent of voluntary sector

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1004

Abstract

There has been much research focusing on contracting and its effect on individual voluntary sector organisation, and some mapping of the extent of voluntary sector participation in joint community care planning. Each of these is a new and formal relationship with the statutory sector, and in many cases the tasks are fulfilled by the same voluntary sector worker (usually the senior paid officer of the agency). But the impact that these two new relationships have on the voluntary organisation’s perception of its dependence and inter‐dependence has received less attention. The paper will draw on structured interviews in three local authorities, with voluntary sector participants in contracts for social care, and with participants in joint community care planning groups, as well as on documentary research. It will explore the impact of the evolving roles for those seeking to operate effectively in the pluralist provision of public services. It will analyse experiences within joint community care planning structures, and will analyse experiences of contractual relationships. The paper will seek to identify the elements present in each research site which influence the culture of joint working within the two statutory/ voluntary relationships.

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International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2007

Claire Moxham and Ruth Boaden

The purpose of this research paper is to identify the impact of contextual and processual factors on the development, use and impact of performance measurement systems in…

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4580

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to identify the impact of contextual and processual factors on the development, use and impact of performance measurement systems in voluntary and community organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the applicability of business and public sector performance measurement frameworks to voluntary organisations. It presents the findings of a study through four case studies and draws conclusions on the impact of measurement systems in the voluntary sector.

Findings

The research identifies a low utilisation of performance measurement frameworks and discusses what systems are currently used, how such systems are administered and the impact of measurement on performance.

Research limitations/implications

The evidence is based on four micro‐voluntary organisations that receive public sector funding. The findings are based on the perceptions of the organisations delivering the services and illustrate the relationship between the public and voluntary sectors. Further, cases utilising a range of stakeholders should be studied to examine the validity, reliability and generalisability of the presented results. However, given that there is practically no empirical evidence at all on this issue at present, the study provides useful evidence that can be further developed.

Practical implications

The research findings present contextual and processual barriers to measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of voluntary organisations. For performance measurement frameworks to support current practice, these barriers need to be recognised and addressed.

Originality/value

The paper highlights performance measurement implications for a sector that is unaccustomed to scrutiny. As little research has been conducted within this sector, these findings contribute to the body of knowledge.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Emma Hallam and I.R. Murray

Voluntary sector information, presents particular challenges to information providers, in terms of networking across a diverse body of organisations. Opportunities offered…

Abstract

Voluntary sector information, presents particular challenges to information providers, in terms of networking across a diverse body of organisations. Opportunities offered by WWW community networks include information sharing through online databases, more efficiently updated than printed sources, and electronic networking, potentially easing communication between organisations and between sectors. This paper presents the results of both quantitative and qualitative surveys of the local voluntary sector in the Borough of Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire. The IT capabilities and information needs were measured and examined. The opinions of local practitioners in voluntary sector information were also sought. A range of different levels of IT skills and facilities was found amongst local voluntary sector organisations, and a reticence amongst some organisations to get involved in recent IT developments was also detected. Facilitation, in the form of training, IT support and facilities, was therefore identified as important to effective voluntary sector information provision. It was recommended that research should be carried out with regard to local information needs, and that an editorial board be established.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Jacques Defourny and Victor Pestoff

There is still no universal definition of the third sector in Europe, but it can be seen as including all types of non-governmental not-for-profit entities such as…

Abstract

There is still no universal definition of the third sector in Europe, but it can be seen as including all types of non-governmental not-for-profit entities such as non-profit organizations, mutuals, cooperatives, social enterprises and foundations. This article attempts to make sense of the current shifting conceptualization of the third sector in Europe. It is based on short country summaries of the images and concepts of the third sector in 13 European countries by EMES Network’s members, first presented in 2008 (Defourny and Pestoff, 2008; nine of them were recently revised and are found in the appendix to this article.). The perception and development of the third sector in Europe is closely related to the other major social governance institutions/mechanisms, like the market, state and community and through the third sector’s interaction with them. Moreover, many third sector organizations (TSOs) overlap with these other social institutions, resulting in varying degrees of hybridity and internal tensions experienced by them. TSOs can generate resources from their activities on the market, by providing services in partnership with the state and/or by promoting the interests of a given community or group. The country overviews document a growing professionalization of TSOs in most countries and a growing dependency of public funds to provide services. This has important theoretical and practical implications for orienting the articles included in this book. Thus, it can provide a key for better understanding the discussion and analysis in the remainder of this volume.

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Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2010

Richard Greatbanks, Graham Elkin and Graham Manville

This research paper seeks to examine the important issues of performance measurement and reporting in a third sector community organisation. It aims to highlight the…

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1212

Abstract

Purpose

This research paper seeks to examine the important issues of performance measurement and reporting in a third sector community organisation. It aims to highlight the dysfunctional nature of funding body performance reporting criteria, which do not always align with the values and goals of the voluntary organisation. In contrast, this paper aims to consider the value of using anecdotal performance data to provide a more informed perspective on the performance of third sector organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the current literature regarding performance measurement from a voluntary sector perspective. It then considers the value and efficacy of anecdotal performance reporting and presents empirical findings from a single case study organisation.

Findings

The paper identifies that many forms of performance reporting frameworks used by funding bodies provide little or no value to the voluntary organisation, and that anecdotal performance reporting is often more aligned with the values of the voluntary organisation. This paper proposes that whilst anecdotal performance reporting is not common place, it has an inherent value to both a third sector organisation, and funding body, as it allows the organisation's achievements to be presented in a more empathic light. The paper concludes that anecdotal performance reporting is particularly appropriate where the funding body is of a philanthropic, rather than government or state nature.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted from the perspective of one voluntary sector organisation, therefore providing limited generalizability.

Originality/value

With little research undertaken on the value of anecdotal performance reporting in this environment, this paper highlights a potential new area of performance measurement. This research is set within a New Zealand context, adding to the originality.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 59 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Sandrine Roginsky and Sally Shortall

During recent years, the concept of civil society, particularly global civil society, has come to the fore in both academia and policy circles. A key component of recent…

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1284

Abstract

Purpose

During recent years, the concept of civil society, particularly global civil society, has come to the fore in both academia and policy circles. A key component of recent theoretical and policy research is the attempt to do international comparative research on the meaning of civil society. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the language and the terminology used to describe the agents of civil society are reflective of cultural and historical contexts of societies, have distinct meanings and cannot be used interchangeably.

Design/methodology/approach

In different national contexts, the key agents of civil society are referred to differently; nonprofit sector, voluntary and community sector, third sector and social economy. In comparative studies, scholars often list these concepts to indicate that they recognise that the agents of civil society are referred to differently in different societies. The article offers a socio‐historical analysis of each concept. It is concluded that teasing out the differences, as well as the similarities, between the nonprofit sector, voluntary and community sector, third sector and social economy, is crucial to robust comparative research on civil society.

Findings

This paper exposes a number of limitations of each of the terminologies used to describe civil society. They all present a much more limiting notion of civil society than that proposed by the founding fathers. None seem to capture the range of civil associations in any society. Yet, assumptions are made that the terminologies used have similar meanings rather than attempting to clarify and define exactly what is being written or described. This is exacerbated by the interchangeable usage of nonprofit/third sector/community and voluntary sector/social economy. In order to progress beyond culturally specific understandings of civil society, it is necessary to examine the terminology used and how it emanates from a specific cultural and political context. Having a clear understanding of the language used and what it signifies is crucial to robust cross‐national comparative research.

Originality/value

This paper examines context specific understandings of civil society and the terminology used to define it; a question not previously addressed. It is hoped that this article will generate much needed further debate on cross‐national meanings of civil society.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 29 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Roger Courtney

Suggests that voluntary organizations must respond to various changestaking place in order to survive. Many public sector units are beingtransferred to the independent…

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1031

Abstract

Suggests that voluntary organizations must respond to various changes taking place in order to survive. Many public sector units are being transferred to the independent sector which will mean growth in the voluntary sector, calling for increased professionalism in income generation and accountability. The care sector is also being restructured causing further confusion. Outlines a number of new directions as the key development areas for the management of voluntary organizations.

Details

Management Development Review, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0962-2519

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2010

Matthew Jackson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the mismatch between the language and rhetoric used by UK Central Government departments to promote particular policy options and

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the mismatch between the language and rhetoric used by UK Central Government departments to promote particular policy options and initiatives and the experiences of Third Sector organisations engaged in such programmes. The paper provides an overview of policy development involving the Third Sector in the UK and seeks to provide a practice and political context to facilitate the analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon empirical research undertaken with Third Sector and public sector agencies in specific initiatives in England. The methodology adopted includes an analysis both of the policy documents and official guidance notes provided as well as qualitative data drawn from interviews with key participants in the process.

Findings

The paper observes that for both parties in the process the relationships/experience was uncomfortable. The diversity, size, ethos and shape of the Third Sector were not fully understood by public sector agencies and the implications of the governance and decision making processes were not fully grasped by either party.

Research limitations/implications

While the policy and practice implications are explicitly discussed in the paper it is rooted in the particular organisational structures/culture of the UK (and England in particular). While comparisons are possible they are to be found in the discussion on processes.

Practical implications

The paper adds to the analysis/understanding of the policy and practice relationship(s) between the Third Sector and central/local government and points to ways in which these relationships are likely to become more significant over time.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the literature on the Third Sector but is significant because of its focus on specific policy initiatives.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Sinéad McBrearty

To identify the factors influencing the success or failure of voluntary organizations to utilize social enterprise models to achieve financial and/or social objectives.

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2665

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the factors influencing the success or failure of voluntary organizations to utilize social enterprise models to achieve financial and/or social objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature of success/failure factors in trading ventures is presented. Describes the study to understand why social enterprise models either do or do not work in the voluntary sector. Evaluates findings from five separate consultancy projects with UK voluntary sector organizations, where the consultancy work comprised feasibility assessments of new business ideas for each organization and projects carried out by Beehive Promotions Ltd, a subsidiary of Social Enterprise London (SEL). Presents the critical success and failure factors involved in an action research framework for the organizations.

Findings

The five critical success factors identified were: organizations wishing to trade must have a product or service that can be sold; the need to identify a market with resources and inclination to pay for the service or product offered; ability and desire to change organizational culture; significant commitment from internal and external stakeholders; and the need for organizations to have requisite management skills to deal with the additional complexity involved in pursuing social enterprise models. Concludes that the three critical failure factors were: underestimating the development time required; the bureaucratic burden carried by third sector organizations; and the fact that organizations driven toward social enterprise for reactive reasons and fear declining grant income are less likely to succeed. Suggests that commercialization is not always a good thing for voluntary organizations struggling to build businesses while maintaining a focus on their core social mission.

Originality/value

Fills a gap in the literature where the issues brought up in this exercise have tended not to be studied.

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