Challenges in Managing Nonprofit Organizations: A Research Overview

  • Bernd Helmig
  • Marc Jegers
  • Irvine Lapsley


The topic of “management” and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) continues to fascinate scholars. This paper draws on varying theoretical perspectives to explore their respective contributions to our knowledge of NPOs. The two longstanding and contrasting disciplines of economics and sociology have contributed most, traditionally, to the study of NPOs. However, neither of these disciplines has resolved all the dilemmas associated with NPOs. The standard economic model does not apply well to the distinctive nonmarket situation of NPOs. The sociological perspectives offer interesting insight, but fail to develop plans of action for NPOs. However, both of these traditional perspectives are starting to be eclipsed by the focus on marketing research.

NPO research economics sociology marketing 


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Helmig
    • 1
  • Marc Jegers
    • 2
  • Irvine Lapsley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Microeconomics of the Profit and Non-Profit SectorsVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium
  3. 3.IPSARUniversity of Edinburgh Management SchoolEdinburghScotland, United Kingdom

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