Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness: A Modern Synthesis

Jesse Lecy, Hans Peter Schmitz, Haley Swedlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

NGO/NPO effectiveness remains a prominent concern for scholars and practitioners, but the literature on this issue is increasingly fragmented along disciplinary lines. We address this problem by presenting a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the literature on NGO and NPO effectiveness using citation analysis. In order to uncover commonalities across disciplines concerned with similar questions, we deploy a structured literature review using snowball sampling within citation networks. This approach limits author biases, fosters an interdisciplinary perspective, and adds a different methodological approach to conventional content-based literature reviews. Our review uncovers three trends: (1) there is broad scholarly consensus that unidimensional measures of effectiveness are not useful-even though such measures are commonly used by NGO/NPO rating agencies; (2) the scholarship on NGO/NPO effectiveness is dominated by conceptual works, while empirical studies remain rare; (3) a consensus on how to operationalize effectiveness remains elusive. These results suggest that progress in our understanding of NGO/NPO effectiveness requires enhanced efforts at crossing disciplinary divides, adding empirical analyses, and increasing attention to develop shared categories and methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-457
Number of pages24
JournalVoluntas
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

profit
non-governmental organization
trend
Non-governmental organizations
Organizational effectiveness
rating
literature
methodology
Literature review

Keywords

  • Non-for-profit organizations
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Structured literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness : A Modern Synthesis. / Lecy, Jesse; Schmitz, Hans Peter; Swedlund, Haley.

In: Voluntas, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.01.2012, p. 434-457.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lecy, Jesse ; Schmitz, Hans Peter ; Swedlund, Haley. / Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness : A Modern Synthesis. In: Voluntas. 2012 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 434-457.
@article{0302135e1b5e4e47b40fc4b49dda7d5b,
title = "Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness: A Modern Synthesis",
abstract = "NGO/NPO effectiveness remains a prominent concern for scholars and practitioners, but the literature on this issue is increasingly fragmented along disciplinary lines. We address this problem by presenting a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the literature on NGO and NPO effectiveness using citation analysis. In order to uncover commonalities across disciplines concerned with similar questions, we deploy a structured literature review using snowball sampling within citation networks. This approach limits author biases, fosters an interdisciplinary perspective, and adds a different methodological approach to conventional content-based literature reviews. Our review uncovers three trends: (1) there is broad scholarly consensus that unidimensional measures of effectiveness are not useful-even though such measures are commonly used by NGO/NPO rating agencies; (2) the scholarship on NGO/NPO effectiveness is dominated by conceptual works, while empirical studies remain rare; (3) a consensus on how to operationalize effectiveness remains elusive. These results suggest that progress in our understanding of NGO/NPO effectiveness requires enhanced efforts at crossing disciplinary divides, adding empirical analyses, and increasing attention to develop shared categories and methodologies.",
keywords = "Non-for-profit organizations, Non-governmental organizations, Structured literature review",
author = "Jesse Lecy and Schmitz, {Hans Peter} and Haley Swedlund",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11266-011-9204-6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "434--457",
journal = "Voluntas",
issn = "0957-8765",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness

T2 - A Modern Synthesis

AU - Lecy, Jesse

AU - Schmitz, Hans Peter

AU - Swedlund, Haley

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - NGO/NPO effectiveness remains a prominent concern for scholars and practitioners, but the literature on this issue is increasingly fragmented along disciplinary lines. We address this problem by presenting a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the literature on NGO and NPO effectiveness using citation analysis. In order to uncover commonalities across disciplines concerned with similar questions, we deploy a structured literature review using snowball sampling within citation networks. This approach limits author biases, fosters an interdisciplinary perspective, and adds a different methodological approach to conventional content-based literature reviews. Our review uncovers three trends: (1) there is broad scholarly consensus that unidimensional measures of effectiveness are not useful-even though such measures are commonly used by NGO/NPO rating agencies; (2) the scholarship on NGO/NPO effectiveness is dominated by conceptual works, while empirical studies remain rare; (3) a consensus on how to operationalize effectiveness remains elusive. These results suggest that progress in our understanding of NGO/NPO effectiveness requires enhanced efforts at crossing disciplinary divides, adding empirical analyses, and increasing attention to develop shared categories and methodologies.

AB - NGO/NPO effectiveness remains a prominent concern for scholars and practitioners, but the literature on this issue is increasingly fragmented along disciplinary lines. We address this problem by presenting a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the literature on NGO and NPO effectiveness using citation analysis. In order to uncover commonalities across disciplines concerned with similar questions, we deploy a structured literature review using snowball sampling within citation networks. This approach limits author biases, fosters an interdisciplinary perspective, and adds a different methodological approach to conventional content-based literature reviews. Our review uncovers three trends: (1) there is broad scholarly consensus that unidimensional measures of effectiveness are not useful-even though such measures are commonly used by NGO/NPO rating agencies; (2) the scholarship on NGO/NPO effectiveness is dominated by conceptual works, while empirical studies remain rare; (3) a consensus on how to operationalize effectiveness remains elusive. These results suggest that progress in our understanding of NGO/NPO effectiveness requires enhanced efforts at crossing disciplinary divides, adding empirical analyses, and increasing attention to develop shared categories and methodologies.

KW - Non-for-profit organizations

KW - Non-governmental organizations

KW - Structured literature review

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84858730184&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84858730184&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11266-011-9204-6

DO - 10.1007/s11266-011-9204-6

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84858730184

VL - 23

SP - 434

EP - 457

JO - Voluntas

JF - Voluntas

SN - 0957-8765

IS - 2

ER -