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Being business-like and still serving society? Investigating the relationship between NPOs being business-like and their societal roles

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

NPOs are increasingly using business-like methods and funding sources, and expect this to helpthem better fulfill their societal roles. However, there are indications that when NPOs imitatebusinesses, they may focus on service delivery and neglect other societal roles such ascommunity building, political advocacy, and promoting civic engagement. We examine thisissue with survey data from Flemish NPO (N = 496). Overall, our results suggest that the criticaltone underlying the effects of NPOs being business-like might be somewhat overdrawn, as wefind that the extent to which business-like practices are present (a) is only weakly associatedwith the extent to which NPOs engage in particular societal roles (low adjusted R2), and (b) ismainly positively related to societal role uptake. We conclude by pointing to the particularitiesof the research context at hand, as well as suggest avenues for further research.
Book: Proceedings of the 48th annual ARNOVA conference
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2019