An investigation into English and Scottish charity governance in the regulatory era

HOBBS, Russell (2023). An investigation into English and Scottish charity governance in the regulatory era. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The primary aim of this study was to investigate English and Scottish charity governance in the regulatory era. To achieve this, the research was divided into three main areas. The first aimed at understanding how the governance environment for charities had evolved over time. The second considered how trustees and charity boards were responding and adapting to this changed environment and what effect this was having on their governance work. Particular reference was made to trustee training and development. The third and concluding part aimed at considering what were the implications for understanding ‘good governance’ using findings from the previous two areas. The research methodology was based on a neo-empiricist approach because of its interpretivist mode of engagement with qualitative methods alongside an objectivist epistemology. This was considered as an appropriate methodology for this study and aligned with my ontological and epistemological viewpoint and perspectives. To gather the relevant data in accordance with the research parameters, two methods were adopted. The first consisted of a content analysis of the existing governance framework with this being followed by a round of interviews with trustees to consider their views on the subject. The findings indicated that approaches to charity governance had increased in both volume and complexity over the years and had adopted a unitarist governance ethos. The interviews demonstrated a high level of compliance with this material, but the evidence also suggested that some groups were developing governance strategies over and above what was required. In the conclusion and as part of my academic contribution, I present a model of good governance surfacing the scope for improved procedures within a controlled regulatory environment. This three-stage conceptual model is divided between Minimum Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of governance and suggest that this would deliver a regulatory field in which innovation could still flourish but a strong framework of support would be retained. It also allows for a range of trustee competencies within the sector to be encouraged and supported.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Wren, David (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Thesis advisor - Gilligan, Christine (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Thesis advisor - Ridley-Duff, Rory [0000-0002-5560-6312] (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. David Wren / Supervisors: Dr. Christine Gilligan and Prof. Rory Ridley-Duff
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2024 15:01
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 02:00

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