Governance Challenges for Not-for-Profit Organisations: Empirical Evidence in Support of A Contingency Approach

  • John Chelliah University of Technology Sydney http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2351-3784
  • Martijn Boersma University of Technology Sydney
  • Alice Klettner University of Technology Sydney

Abstract

This article presents empirical evidence of the governance challenges faced by Australian not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. There is a dearth of academic research in the not-for-profit sector on issues of governance. Using survey and interview data, we explore what NFP leaders believe are key governance challenges, and what this means for theory and practice of NFP governance. We demonstrate that the effectiveness of governance systems is influenced by internal and external contingencies that NFP organisations face, such as variations in board roles, stakeholder and membership demands, funding arrangements, board member recruitment processes, skills of board members, and resources for training and development. We argue for a shift of focus away from prescriptive and normative NFP governance models, and contend that generic best practice governance standards for NFPs ought not to be further pursued, and that a contingency approach is more promising. Keywords: Governance, Not-for- Profit sector, Contingency Theory To cite this document: John Chelliah, Martijn Boersma, and Alice Klettner, "Governance Challenges for Not-for-Profit Organisations: Empirical Evidence in Support of A Contingency Approach", Contemporary Management Research, Vol.12, No.1, pp. 3-24, 2016. Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.7903/cmr.14538

Author Biographies

John Chelliah, University of Technology Sydney
Business School
Martijn Boersma, University of Technology Sydney
Business School
Alice Klettner, University of Technology Sydney
Business School
Published
2016-02-29
How to Cite
Chelliah, J., Boersma, M., & Klettner, A. (2016). Governance Challenges for Not-for-Profit Organisations: Empirical Evidence in Support of A Contingency Approach. Contemporary Management Research, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.7903/cmr.14538
Section
Strategy