Dimensions of Capacity in Nonprofit Human Service Organizations

  • William A. Brown
  • Fredrik O. Andersson
  • Suyeon Jo
Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present and develop a firmer grasp of the underlying dimensions of organizational capacity in nonprofit human service organizations. The paper draws on the resource-based view of the organization (Barney et al. in Journal of Management 37:1299, 2011; Wernerfelt in Strategic Management Journal 5:171, 1984), which recognizes that organizational attributes and capabilities facilitate performance. Interviews were conducted with 66 executives in moderate sized, human service organizations to discuss factors that influence performance. Findings suggest that human, financial, and social capital all contribute to organizational performance. Executives emphasized the quality of people associated with the organization including the role of the board of directors in supporting performance. Many respondents also believed that maintaining healthy and dynamic external relationships was critical to success.

Keywords

Capacity building Resource-based perspective Management 

Résumé

Le but de cet article est de présenter et de développer une meilleure compréhension des dimensions sous-jacentes de la capacité organisationnelle des organisations de services sociaux à but non lucratif. L’article s’inspire de l’approche fondée sur les ressources de l’organisation (Barney et al. 2011; Wernerfelt 1984), qui constate que les attributs et les capacités des organisations facilitent les performances. Des entretiens ont été menés avec 66 cadres dans des organisations de services sociaux de taille moyenne pour discuter des facteurs qui influencent les performances. Les résultats suggèrent que le capital tant humain, financier que social, contribue à la performance de l’organisation. Les dirigeants ont souligné la qualité des personnes associées à l’organisation, notamment le rôle du conseil d’administration pour soutenir les performances. De nombreux répondants croyaient également que le fait d’entretenir des relations extérieures saines et dynamiques était essentiel pour réussir.

Zusammenfassung

Zweck dieser Abhandlung ist es, die zugrundeliegenden Bereiche der Organisationskapazität in gemeinnützigen Human-Service-Organisationen zu präsentieren und ein tiefer gehendes Verständnis darüber zu vermitteln. Der Beitrag stützt sich auf die ressourcenbasierte Betrachtung der Organisation (Barney et al. 2011; Wernerfelt 1984), laut derer organisatorische Merkmale und Fähigkeiten das Leistungsvermögen unterstützen. Es wurden 66 Führungskräfte mittelgroßer Human-Service-Organisationen zu den leistungsbeeinflussenden Faktoren befragt. Die Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass das Human-, Finanz- und auch Sozialkapital zur Leistung der Organisation beitragen. Die Führungskräfte betonten, dass die Qualität der Personen in der Organisation, einschließlich der Rolle des Vorstands, das Leistungsvermögen unterstützen. Viele der befragten Personen glaubten zudem, dass der Erhalt gesunder und dynamischer externer Beziehungen für den Erfolg ausschlaggebend seien.

Résumén

El propósito del presente documento es presentar y desarrollar una comprensión más firme de las dimensiones subyacentes de la capacidad organizativa en organizaciones de servicios humanos sin ánimo de lucro. El documento se basa en la opinión basada en recursos de la organización (Barney et al. 2011; Wernerfelt 1984), que reconoce que los atributos y las capacidades organizativas facilitan el rendimiento. Se realizaron entrevistas a 66 ejecutivos en organizaciones de servicios humanos de tamaño moderado para tratar los factores que influyen en el rendimiento. Los hallazgos sugieren que tanto el capital humano como el financiero o el social contribuyen al rendimiento organizativo. Los ejecutivos hicieron hincapié en la calidad de las personas asociadas a la organización incluido el papel del consejo de administración en el apoyo al rendimiento. Muchos encuestados creían también que mantener relaciones sanas y dinámicas externas era crítico para el éxito.

摘要

本文旨在更确切了解非盈利性人类服务机构的组织机构能力的各个维度, 文章利用的观点是建立在资源的基础上的组织机构观点(Barney 等, 2011年; Wernerfelt 1984年), 这种观点承认组织机构的属性和能力有助于组织机构的表现。 我们对来自中型人类服务机构的66名管理人员进行访谈,讨论了影响组织机构表现的因素,我们 发现,人、金融资本和社会资本都对组织机构的表现有帮助,他们强调人的质量和组织机构的关系, 包括董事会在支持组织机构表现上的作用。 很多回答人员也认为,保持健康的有活力的外部关系对成功非常重要。

要約

本論文の目的は、非営利組織における人材サービスの組織能力の基盤となるディメンションを提示して明確に把握することである。本論文では人材を基盤とする組織 (バーニー等2011 年、ヴェルナーフェルト、1984年)を提示して、組織の属性と機能がパフォーマンスを促進することを認識する。中規模の人材サービスにおける66名の重役とインタビューを行って、パフォーマンスに影響を与える要因を議論する。すべての組織のパフォーマンスにおいて貢献度、人間性、金融、社会資本が明らかになった。重役は、取締役会の役割を含めて組織に関連付けられている人々の質を強調した。多くの回答者は、健康および動的な外部との関係を維持することが成功に不可欠であると信じていた。

ملخص

الغرض من هذا البحث هو تقديم وتطوير فهم أكثر حزما” للأبعاد الكامنة وراء القدرة التنظيمية في المنظمات خدمة الإنسان الغير هادفة للربح. لفت البحث النظرعلى الموارد في المنظمة (Wernerfelt 1984 ؛Barney, 2011;)، التي تعترف بأن السمات والقدرات التنظيمية تسهل الأداء. أجريت مقابلات مع66 من التنفيذيين في حجم معتدل، منظمات خدمة الإنسان لمناقشة العوامل التي تؤثرعلى الأداء. النتائج تشير إلى أن المواردالبشرية ، الموارد المالية ورأس المال الإجتماعي كلها عوامل تساهم في الأداء التنظيمي. أكد المسؤولين التنفيذيين على نوعية الأشخاص المرتبطين بتنظيم بما في ذلك دور مجلس الإدارة في دعم الأداء. يعتقد العديد من المشاركين أيضا” أن الحفاظ على العلاقات الخارجية في حالة صحية وحيوية ضروري لتحقيق النجاح.

References

  1. Adler, P. S., & Kwon, S.-W. (2002). Social capital: Prospects for a new concept. The Academy of Management Review, 27(1), 17–40.Google Scholar
  2. Akingbola, K. (2006). Strategic choices and change in non-profit organizations. Strategic Change, 15(6), 265–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akingbola, K. (2012). A model of strategic nonprofit human resource management. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 24(1), 214–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1996). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: An examination of construct validity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 49, 252–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Altschuld, J. W., & Kumar, D. D. (2010). Needs assessment: An overview. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Amaratunga, D., & Baldry, D. (2000). Assessment of facilities management performance in higher education properties. Facilities, 18(7/8), 293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Andreasen, A. R., & Kotler, P. (2008). Strategic marketing for nonprofit organizations (7th ed.). Upper Saddle Rover: Pearson, Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  8. Arsenault, P., & Faerman, S. R. (2014). Embracing paradox in management: The value of the competing values framework. Organization Management Journal, 11(3), 147–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ashley, S. (2015). Inherent system dynamics of instability and resilience in nonprofit human services. In Y. Hou (Ed.), Local government budget stabilization (Vol. 2, pp. 191–202). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Austin, D. M. (1989). The human service executive. In Y. Hasenfeld (Ed.), Administrative leadership in social services (pp. 13–36). Binghampton, NY: Hawthorn Press.Google Scholar
  11. Backer, T. E. (2000). Strengthening nonprofits: Capacity building and philanthropy. Encino, CA: Human Interaction Research Institute.Google Scholar
  12. Backer, T. E. (2001). Strengthening nonprofits: Foundation initiatives for nonprofit organizations. In C. J. De Vita & C. Fleming (Eds.), Building capacity in nonprofit organizations. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  13. Balduck, A. L., Lucidarme, S., Marlier, M., & Willem, A. (2014). Organizational capacity and organizational ambition in nonprofit and voluntary sports clubs. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 1–21.Google Scholar
  14. Balser, D., & McClusky, J. (2005). Managing stakeholder relationships and nonprofit organization effectiveness. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 15(3), 295–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. [Article]. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Barney, J. B., Ketchen, D. J., & Wright, M. (2011). The future of resource-based theory: Revitalization or decline? Journal of Management, 37(5), 1299–1315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bell, J., & Cornelius, M. (2013). UnderDeveloped: A national study of challenges facing non-profit fundraising. Oakland: CompassPoint.Google Scholar
  18. Benjamin, L. M. (2013). The potential of outcome measurement for strengthening nonprofits’ accountability to beneficiaries. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 42(6), 1224–1244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Blumenthal, B. (2003). Investing in capacity building: A guide to high impact approaches. New York: Foundation Center.Google Scholar
  20. Bolton, M., & Abdy, M. (2007). Foundations for organisational development: Practice in the UK and USA. London: The Baring Foundation.Google Scholar
  21. Brown, W. A. (2005). Exploring the association between board and organizational performance in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 15(3), 317–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Brown, W. A. (2007). Board development practices and competent board members. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 17(3), 301–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Brown, W. A. (2014). Internal Capabilities. In W. A. Brown (Ed.), Strategic management of nonprofit organization. Boston: Jones & Bartlett.Google Scholar
  24. Brown, W. A., & Guo, C. (2010). Exploring the key roles for nonprofit boards. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 39(3), 536–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Bunger, A. C. (2013). Administrative coordination in nonprofit human service delivery networks: The role of competition and trust. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 42(6), 1155–1175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Buteau, E., Buchanan, P., Bolanus, C., Brock, A., & Cjang, K. (2008). More than money: Making a difference beyond the grant. Cambridge, MA: Center for Effective Philanthropy.Google Scholar
  27. Cameron, K. S., Quinn, R. E., DeGraff, J., & Thakor, A. V. (2014). Competing values leadership (2nd ed.). Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  28. Cappelli, P., & Crocker-Hefter, A. (1996). Distinctive human resources are firms’ core competencies. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Carroll, D. A., & Stater, K. J. (2009). Revenue diversification in nonprofit organizations: Does it lead to financial stability? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 19(4), 947–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Chikoto, G. L., & Neely, D. G. (2014). Building nonprofit financial capacity: The impact of revenue concentration and overhead costs. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(3), 570–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Coffe, H., & Geys, B. (2007). Toward an empirical characterization of bridging and bonding social capital. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36(1), 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Coombes, S. M. T., Morris, M. H., Allen, J. A., & Webb, J. W. (2011). Behavioural orientations of non-profit boards as a factor in entrepreneurial performance: does governance matter? Journal of Management Studies, 48(4), 829–856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Cornforth, C., & Mordaunt, J. (2011). Organisational capacity building: Understanding the dilemmas for foundations of intervening in small- and medium-size charities. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 22(3), 428–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Denisi, A., & Smith, C. E. (2013). Performance appraisal, performance management, and firm-level performance. The Academy of Management Annals, 8, 127–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Dess, G. G., Ireland, R. D., & Hitt, M. A. (1990). Industry effects and strategic management research. Journal of Management, 16(1), 7–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ebrahim, A., & Rangan, V. K. (2014). What impact? A framework for measuring the scale and scope of social performance. California Management Review, 56(3), 118–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Frumkin, P., & Kim, M. T. (2001). Strategic positioning and the financing of nonprofit organizations: Is efficiency rewarded in the contributions marketplace? Public Administration Review, 61(3), 266–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gavetti, G., Greve, H. R., Levinthal, D. A., & Ocasio, W. (2012). The behavioral theory of the firm: Assessment and prospects. The Academy of Management Annals, 6, 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Greenwood, R., Raynard, M., Kodeih, F., Micelotta, E. R., & Lounsbury, M. (2011). Institutional complexity and organizational responses. The Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 317–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Grønbjerg, K. A. (1993). Understanding nonprofit funding: Managing revenues in social service and community development organizations. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  41. Grønbjerg, K. A., & Salamon, L. M. (2002). Devolution, marketization, and the changing shape of government-nonprofit relations. In L. M. Salamon (Ed.), The state of nonprofit America. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  42. Harrow, J. (2001). ‘Capacity building’ as a public management goal: Myth, magic or the main chance? Public Management Review, 3(2), 209–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hartenian, L. S., & Lilly, Bryan. (2009). Egoism and commitment: A multidimensional approach to understanding sustained volunteering*. Journal of Managerial Issues, 21(1), 97–119.Google Scholar
  44. Helmig, B., Jegers, M., & Lapsley, I. (2004). Challenges in managing nonprofit organizations: A research overview. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 15(2), 101–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Herman, R. D. (2010). Executive leadership. In D. O. Renz (Ed.), The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management (3rd ed., pp. 157–177). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  46. Herman, R. D., & Renz, D. O. (2000). Board practices of especially effective and less effective local nonprofit organizations. The American Review of Public Administration, 30(2), 146–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Herman, R. D., & Renz, D. O. (2008). Advancing nonprofit organizational effectiveness research and theory: Nine theses. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 18(4), 399–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hillman, A. J., & Dalziel, T. (2003). Boards of directors and firm performance: integrating agency and resource dependence perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 383–396.Google Scholar
  49. Hitt, M. A., Biermant, L., Shimizu, K., & Kochhar, R. (2001). Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 44(1), 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Jaskyte, K. (2014). Board of directors and innovation in nonprofit organizations model: Preliminary evidence from nonprofit organizations in developing countries. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 1–24.Google Scholar
  51. Jiang, K., Lepak, D. P., Hu, J., & Baer, J. C. (2012). How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? A meta-analytic investigation of mediating mechanisms. Academy of Management Journal, 55(6), 1264–1294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. King, N. K. (2004). Social capital and nonprofit leaders. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 14(4), 471–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. King, N. (2012). Doing template analysis. In Qualitative organizational research: Core methods and current challenges (pp. 426–250).Google Scholar
  54. Lange, D., Lee, P. M., & Dai, Y. (2011). Organizational reputation: A review. Journal of Management, 37(1), 153–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Luoma-aho, V. (2013). Corporate Reputation and the Theory of Social Capital. In The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation (pp. 279–290). Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  56. Mayer, W. J., Wang, H.-C., Egginton, J. F., & Flint, H. S. (2014). The impact of revenue diversification on expected revenue and volatility for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(2), 374–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Meng, X., & Minogue, M. (2011). Performance measurement models in facility management: a comparative study. Facilities, 29(11/12), 472–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mintzberg, H. (1980). The nature of magagerial work. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  59. Minzner, A., Klerman, J. A., Markovitz, C. E., & Fink, B. (2014). The impact of capacity-building programs on nonprofits: A random assignment evaluation. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(3), 547–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone. New York: Simon & Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Quinn, R. E., & Rohrbaugh, J. (1983). A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: Towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis. Management Science, 29(3), 363–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Roberts, P. W., & Dowling, G. R. (2002). Corporate reputation and sustained superior financial performance. Strategic Management Journal, 23(12), 1077–1093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Salamon, L. M. (2002). The Resilient sector. In L. M. Salamon (Ed.), The state of nonprofit America. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  64. Schmid, H. (2002). Relationships between organizational properties and organizational effectiveness in three types of nonprofit human service organizations. Public Personnel Management, 31(3), 377–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sirmon, D. G., Hitt, M. A., & Ireland, R. (2007). Managing firm resources in dynamic environments to create value: Looking inside the black box. The Academy of Management Review Archive, 32(1), 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wade-Berg, J. A., & Robinson-Dooley, V. (2015). Perceptions of collaboration and service integration as strategic alternatives: An examination of social service nonprofit organizations in the late 1990s. Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, 20(2), 2.Google Scholar
  67. Weisinger, J. Y., & Black, J. A. (2006). Strategic resources and social capital. Irish Journal of Management, 27(Special Issue), 145–170.Google Scholar
  68. Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wilding, K., Clark, J., Griffith, M., Jochum, V., & Wainwright, S. (2006). The voluntary sector almanac 2006: The state of the sector. London: National Council for Voluntary Organisations.Google Scholar
  70. Zaheer, A., McEvily, B., & Perrone, V. (1989). Does trust matter? Exploring the effects of interorganizational and interpersonal trust on performance. Organization Science, 9(2), 141–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Brown
    • 1
  • Fredrik O. Andersson
    • 2
  • Suyeon Jo
    • 3
  1. 1.Bush School of Government & Public ServiceTexas A&M UniversityTexasUSA
  2. 2.Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit ManagementUniversity of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public AffairsSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

Personalised recommendations