Public accountability in non-profit industrial development organisations

  • Craig R. Humphrey
  • Rodney A. Erickson


Non-profit industrial development organisations (NIDOs) represent a common but little studied community response to widespread deindustrialisation in the United States. These non-profits are organised as chartered not-for-profit corporations, public authorities or agencies of local government. Most receive at least some public funding to promote local industrial development. Thus, a key issue is how accountable NIDOs are to the public they have been created to serve. Data from national surveys of NIDO executive directors in 1984 and 1994, as well as a survey of six case study boards of directors, suggest that public accountability is an increasingly important concern among NIDOs. Public hearings, efforts to diversify the boards in terms of gender and race, and connections to community development corporations and other local organisations are among the ways NIDOs attempt to be accountable to the general public. Although few women or racial minorities serve on NIDO boards, those boards with representation of these groups tend to be more concerned with public accountability. Boards containing public officials tend to be less concerned, presumably because their presence makes the NIDOs more directly accountable as a result of the participation of elected public representatives.


Local Government General Public National Survey Executive Director Community Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig R. Humphrey
    • 1
  • Rodney A. Erickson
    • 2
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvania
  2. 2.the Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvania

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