Governance in non-profit organizations: accountability for compliance or legitimacy?

COULE, Tracey (2013). Governance in non-profit organizations: accountability for compliance or legitimacy? In: British Academy of Management Conference, Liverpool, 10-12 September 2013.

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Based on case study research, this paper offers a conceptualization of the relationship between governance and accountability in which issues of power, ideologies and the negotiation of social relations are integral features. Specifically, I argue that principal-agent governance assumptions, based on a central logic of unitarism, can drive narrow compliance-based interpretations of accountability. Such approaches can appear at odds with the values embedded in many non-profits social missions and service delivery in that they prioritize minorities of powerful stakeholders over sustained periods of time. Conversely, a pluralist logic can create space for broad accountability to multiple stakeholders. Organizational actors can view this expressive, or values-based accountability as a source of legitimacy, producing complex relationships that challenge the instrumental orientation to social relations principal-agent theories assume.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Ethical Organisations
Depositing User: Tracey Coule
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 09:47
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 14:45

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