Relevant Information for the Accountability of Private Institutions of Social Solidarity: Results from Fieldwork
2. Literature Review
2.1. Social Economy
2.1.1. The Economic Perspective
- Work should consider increasing wages and leisure time and fairness in the relationship between capital and work;
- Services, the objective of which should be personal fulfilment and comfort;
- Social security in order to ensure security in the future and to avoid social risks;
- Economic independence.
2.1.2. Weakening of the Social Economy
2.1.3. Resurgence of the Social Economy
2.1.4. Other Related Concepts
Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs)
Any voluntary, non-profit, citizen-oriented group at the local, national or international level. Task-oriented and led by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of humanitarian services and functions, bring citizens’ concerns to governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level. They provide analysis and knowledge, serve as early warning mechanisms, and help monitor and implement international agreements. Some are organised around specific issues such as human rights, the environment or health.(UN 2021)
- Provide useful goods or services (in some specified legal sense), thus serving a specified public purpose;
- Cannot distribute profits to persons in their individual capacities;
- Are voluntary in the sense that they are created, maintained, and completed based on voluntary decisions and initiatives by members or a board;
- Exhibit value rationality, which is often based on strong ideological components.
2.2. The IPSS in the Context of the Social Economy
constituted exclusively on the initiative of individuals, with the purpose of giving organised expression to the moral duty of justice and solidarity, contributing to the realization of the social rights of citizens, provided they are not administered by the State or by another public body.
- The primacy of the person and social objectives;
- Free and voluntary membership and participation;
- Democratic control of the respective bodies by their members;
- Conciliation between the interests of members, users, or beneficiaries and general interest;
- Respect for the values of solidarity, equality and nondiscrimination, social cohesion, justice and equity, transparency, shared individual and social responsibility, and subsidiarity;
- Autonomous and independent management of public authorities and any other entities outside the social economy;
- The allocation of surpluses to pursue the purposes of social economy entities in accordance with general interest without prejudice to respect the specificity of the distribution of the surpluses, an action that is inherent to the nature and substrate of each social economy entity constitutionally.
2.3. Strategic Management of SE Organisations
- Social contract: Points to specific public problems that the company seeks to alleviate or the desirable social conditions that the company seeks to achieve (Moore 2000). Failure to perform this task can lead to termination of status, denial of status, and penalties for management and the organisation.
- Permanence: It is permanent unless changed by amendments that are subject to the approval of the members, trustees, and the public, who are represented by the State.
- Clarity: A mission statement is always short (with less than 100 words) and clear, pointing to a specific public service.
- Approval: A mission must be approved by the directors and trustees and accepted by the State in which the NPO is established.
- Proof: It is necessary for NPOs to prove their existence, performance, and mission fulfilment annually as well as for them to report on their use of revenue, expenses, and other resources in order to proceed with the mission.
- How is the nonprofit trying to achieve its goals?
- What are the expectations of those who support the organisation?
- What strategies are available to the organisation?
- What roles do the leaders play?
- What resources does the organisation have to support its goals?
2.4. Strategic Planning
2.5. Quality Management System
- “Excessive executive power that can culminate in abuse of pension funds, substantial remuneration packages for executives, corrupt practices, as well as poor decision-making;
- A concern that systems that try to allow owners to exercise control over managers have often been ineffective and complex;
- A concern that, with the increase in the globalisation of corporations and the relatively weak regulatory powers of national governments, some effective restriction on the power of corporate managers is necessary;
- A growing concern for the environment and the failing market for common property (the tragedy of the commons); and thus, put more significant needs on a good administration.”
- Reduce funding from traditional sources such as governments, corporations, and private donors;
- Compete with other NPOs facing similar funding difficulties;
- Increase the demand for services resulting from reductions or cuts in programmes by governments;
- Manage more complex and sophisticated entities, as many NPOs have grown in size and complexity;
- Hold greater responsibility and expectations for an increasing number of stakeholders who may have conflicted expectations for the organisation;
- Ensure the rapid dissemination of information across social media, which can quickly affect the way the organisation is viewed;
- Overcome difficulties in recruiting quality board members who may choose not to join the organisation’s board due to time constraints or liability concerns.
3. Research Methodology
3.1. Sample Definition and Data Collection
3.2. Methodology for Data Analysis
4. Data Analysis
4.1. C1—Organisational Identity
- Many have their origins in certain religions:
- IPSS1, the Anglican Church;
- IPSS6, IPSS11, IPSS12, IPSS17, IPSS18, IPSS25, the Catholic Church;
- IPSS23, the Evangelical Church.
- Some are rooted in community solidarity:
- IPSS6, IPSS9, IPSS10, IPSS14, IPSS15, IPSS19, IPSS25, IPSS26, IPSS27, IPSS28, IPSS29, IPSS30, IPSS31.
- Two were started by parents and are linked to mental and physical health:
- IPSS2 and IPSS3.
- Entities that provide activities for the elderly, such as day centres, have some historical relationship with groups of workers:
- IPSS5 and IPSS13.
- Respect (14);
- Solidarity (13);
- Responsibility (7);
- Cooperation (6);
- Ethics (6);
- Dignity (5);
- Transparency (5);
- Equality (5);
- Confidence (4);
- Quality (3);
- Christian(s) (3).
4.2. C2—Organisational Strategy
4.3. C3—Quality Management Systems
“Yes, but this past year it was not done. This year it went wrong because we wanted to get our model right. It was because we do not think it was fair. After all, we do the group evaluation and self-assessment, and often self-assessment puts the average up. We want to change it in order not to give too much focus to self-assessment. The weight of self-assessment is too high. The staff react well. There was a year where they did not react well because someone said they did not like a person, and it did not go well.” (IPSS14)
“The official way, we do not have it. The board is talking, getting to know the problems of the clients. But it has been carried out informally. Perhaps it is implemented with the new management. There is no employee’s performance evaluation. I am not aware that a form of evaluation is defined because we cannot confront an employee without a system of rules. We do not argue to evaluate. There has to be a set of predefined goals. The new direction is discussing this.”
5. Final Considerations
“No. We are still in development, but it is a very complex area. Performance evaluation can be a conflict area. This may be a pandora’s box, but we create injustices both when we do it and when we don’t.” (IPSS5)“I have tried because I think it is important. Nevertheless, we do not. I am good at evaluating, but without a methodology, people end up feeling bad.” (IPSS29)
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Terminology Employed
Appendix B. Accountability
- The social mission of the institution;
- The activities developed in the institution;
- The number of users covered by the activities;
- The evolution of the institution;
- The major transformations in the activity, if any, and what led to these transformations (a form of institution consolidation: enlargement/retraction).
- Internal management models:
- Human resources in management positions;
- Composition of management positions;
- Decision-making processes;
- Performance evaluation;
- The existence of a quality management system;
- Strategic planning implementation;
- The respondent’s perception of the importance of transparency.
- Initial contact was made to schedule the meeting by telephone.
- The teams were trained by two researchers.
- An e-mail was sent to the directors of the institutions confirming the appointment.
- A quick internet search was conducted to verify if the institution had a website.
- At the beginning of the meeting with the entity, the group adopted the following procedure:
- Thank the institution for their time;
- Present the project and emphasis two points:
- Talk about the constitution of the project team;
- Present the project summary and mention its objectives.
- At the end of the interview, the group of researchers:
- Demonstrated the website to the entity and collected suggestions;
- Sought opinions on the usefulness of the project;
- Investigated the availability of the project and whether or not it is better to have a website, and whether the organisation would be interested in having a website;
- Thanked the organisation for their time and indicated the next steps;
- Committed to keeping the entity informed on the development of the project.
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|Units of Record (URs)||Categories|
|UR1—Identity of the investigated organisation||C1—Organisational Identity|
|UR2—Primary activities and support activities|
|UR5—Number of users|
|UR9—Strategic planning realisation|
|UR10—Quality management system||C3—SGQ|
|UR13—Number of employees in management positions||C4—Governance|
|UR14—Number of women in management positions|
|UR15—Remuneration of managers|
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Inácio, H.; Costa, A.J.; Bandeira, A.M.; Ferreira, A.; Tomé, B.; Joaquim, C.; Santos, C.; Góis, C.; Curi, D.; Meira, D.; Azevedo, G.; Jesus, M.; Teixeira, M.G.; Monteiro, P.; Duarte, R.; Marques, R.P. Relevant Information for the Accountability of Private Institutions of Social Solidarity: Results from Fieldwork. Economies 2022, 10, 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10020035
Inácio H, Costa AJ, Bandeira AM, Ferreira A, Tomé B, Joaquim C, Santos C, Góis C, Curi D, Meira D, Azevedo G, Jesus M, Teixeira MG, Monteiro P, Duarte R, Marques RP. Relevant Information for the Accountability of Private Institutions of Social Solidarity: Results from Fieldwork. Economies. 2022; 10(2):35. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10020035Chicago/Turabian Style
Inácio, Helena, Alberto J. Costa, Ana Maria Bandeira, Augusta Ferreira, Brízida Tomé, Carla Joaquim, Carlos Santos, Cristina Góis, Denise Curi, Deolinda Meira, Graça Azevedo, Mafalda Jesus, Maria Goreti Teixeira, Patrícia Monteiro, Rúben Duarte, and Rui Pedro Marques. 2022. "Relevant Information for the Accountability of Private Institutions of Social Solidarity: Results from Fieldwork" Economies 10, no. 2: 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10020035