Abstract: Nonprofit organizations play a role in the creation of a society that is civil, and it is an important one that neither the state nor for-profit organizations undertake. This raises the question of governance and accountability, which is often addressed by looking to agency-based models from the private sector. The acknowledged problem is that the agency’s notion of owners does not translate well to nonprofits. Adapting the concept of leasehold (wherein the managers and organization operate with broad autonomy, using resources supplied by supporters in exchange for the promise that specific societal value will be created, and are accountable for doing so) allows for a more flexible and responsive arrangement. It also suggests a mechanism whereby many independent nonprofits taking multiple approaches help civil society evolve.
Abstract: Third sector organizations are oftentimes seen as contributing to a robust civil society. Yet the dominant modes of third sector organizational governance often adhere to a unitary orientation. The over-reliance on unitary modes of governance introduces two challenges: first, organizational stakeholders are kept from utilizing participatory mechanisms that would enable them to act as societal intermediaries, and; second, these organizations may underperform due to the artificial separation of stakeholders from participating in governance. This paper addresses calls to widen our knowledge by translating theory into practice through a discussion about the efficacy of pluralistic governance. The co-operative enterprise in introduced to focus analyses on pluralist modes of stakeholder governance. A specific co-operative’s governance structure and practice is introduced—Choctaw Electric Co-operative—through an archival analyses of secondary media accounts of a stakeholder-led reform initiative in rural Oklahoma. The Ostrom Design Principles—a diagnostic used to assess institutional robustness—are applied to demonstrate the shortsightedness of unitary governance, and highlight the potential benefits of pluralistic stakeholder engagement. Knowledge is widened in two ways: first, empirical analyses of co-operative enterprise may provide for significant insights and innovations in third sector governance, and; second proper systems of pluralistic governance exhibit enormous capacity to better orient the firm toward better serving the stakeholder base, improving performance and institutional robustness, while empowering stakeholders as societal intermediaries.
Abstract: This paper presents an approach to conduct risk assessments of complex incentive systems, using a case study of the normative Peer Review Process (PRP). This research centers on appliances and adaptations of the Conflicting Incentives Risk Analysis (CIRA). First as an approach to Root Cause Analysis of a known incident, and then for a full assessment of the incentives in the PRP together with possible risk treatments. CIRA uses an alternative notion of risk, where risk modeling is in terms of conflicting incentives between the risk owner and the stakeholders concerning the execution of actions. Compared to traditional risk assessment approaches, CIRA provides an insight into the underlying incentives behind a risk, and not just the technical vulnerability, likelihood and consequence. The main contributions of this work are an approach to obtain insight into incentives as root causes, and an approach to detecting and analyzing risks from incentives in the normative PRP. This paper also discusses risk treatments in terms of incentives to make the PRP more robust, together with a discussion of how to approach risk analysis of incentives.
Abstract: The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a one of the most popular and contagious management ideas of our time. In previous research the diffusion and institutionalization of the BSC has been viewed through different theoretical lenses, most notably the management fashion perspective. Recently the virus perspective has been introduced as an alternative theory of how management ideas spread, but so far no study has applied this theory in the context of the BSC. In this paper we show that the fashion and virus perspectives provide complementary insights into the diffusion and institutionalization of the BSC. The fashion perspective is particularly well suited for explaining the infectiousness of the BSC and the ways in which organizations are exposed to the BSC idea. The virus theory can better explain how the BSC idea is implemented as a practice in organizations, and the different trajectories that the BSC idea may take in different contexts. A combination of these two perspectives provides a fuller picture of the diffusion and institutionalization of the BSC.
Abstract: Peer-review has become, and remains, the cornerstone on which scientific publication is built. Despite criticism, it remains almost the only method by which acceptance into the corpus of research literature is based. [...]
Abstract: In England, public sports facilities and libraries provided by local government are being transferred to management and delivery by volunteers. The catalyst for this development has been reductions in local government budgets. However, case studies explore if this asset transfer “offers a way of restoring the ideal of committed public service in the face of widespread bureaucratic failure and retreat”, as a form of associative democracy and empowerment of both the volunteers and those for whom the services are provided.