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Saving the moral capital of NGOs: identifying one-sided and many-sided social dilemmas in NGO accountability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The literature on nonprofit management has embraced the concept of “accountability” to target urgent challenges related to NGO probity and integrity, and the literature witnessed attempts to use rational-choice-based governance approaches to solve them. Though existing principal-agent frameworks provide important insights, they are limited to the analysis of financial relationships between NGOs and donors. We contribute to the literature in developing a comprehensive rational-choice-based governance approach to analyze all stakeholder relationships of NGOs. Applying the research program of ordonomics, we unpack two fundamental interaction problems: (a) the “stakeholder dilemma” between the NGO and a single accountability holder as a one-sided social dilemma and (b) the “competition dilemma” among rival NGOs as many-sided social dilemma. We show that improving NGO accountability in relation to ‘intended’ beneficiaries, peer organizations and the general public also requires identifying the underlying governance problem as a competition dilemma focusing on collective self-regulation as a solution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Early online date12 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 12 Jan 2017

Documents

  • Saving the Moral Capital of NGOs

    Rights statement: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9807-z.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 676 KB, PDF document

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