Understanding control in nonprofit organisations: moving governance research forward?

T. Byers, C. Anagnostopoulos, Georgina Brooke-Holmes

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of organisational control and both its importance and utility for understanding nonprofit organisations. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a critical realist (CR) methodology to discuss the concept of control and its utility to research on governance of nonprofit organisations. Findings – The current study offers a conceptual framework that presents a holistic view of control, relevant for analysing nonprofit organisations, and a methodological lens (CR) through which this framework can be implemented. Research limitations/implications – This paper suggests that studies of governance should consider different levels of analysis, as suggested by examining the concept of control using a CR framework. This notion has yet to be tested empirically and a framework for examining governance from a CR perspective of control is suggested. Context is highly relevant to understanding control, and thus, this model requires testing in a wide diversity of nonprofit sectors, sizes of organisations and time periods. Originality/value – The literature on organisational control provides useful insights to advance our understanding of nonprofit organisations beyond the notion of governance, and this paper proposes both conceptual and methodological underpinnings to facilitate future research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-145
    JournalCorporate Governance
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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    • Control
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Governance


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