The Governance of Public and Non-Profit Organizations: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Governance of Public and Non-Profit Organizations

1st Edition

Edited by Chris Cornforth


272 pages

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Governing boards play a crucial role in ensuring that public and non-profit organizations are publicly accountable and perform well. Until now, there have been relatively few detailed empirical studies of what boards do in practice, but this book fills that gap by bringing together analyses based upon some of the best recent empirical studies.

Using a new theoretical framework that highlights the paradoxical nature of governance, the book throws light on the questions at the heart of recent debates about non-profit boards:

  • are boards publicly accountable or is there a democratic deficit?
  • are boards able to exercise real power, or does management run the show?
  • are boards effective stewards of an organization's resources?
  • what effects are regulatory and other changes designed to improve board effectiveness having?

This book will be essential reading for academics and students with an interest in the governance and management of public and non-profit organizations, and will also be of value to policy makers and practitioners who wish to gain a deeper understanding of how boards work and what can be done to improve their performance.


'Anyone interested in understanding more about the problems facing boards should read this book' - Andrew Brown, deputy chair of Charity Trustee Networks.

'…it is likely to make the reader re-examine some funadamental assumptions about corporate governance…' - Corporate Governance, Paddy FitzGerald

'In summary, this book is a gem that goes behind the scenes of board governance. As a result, it is a definite must for those serving on boards, and seeking insight into boards and how to improve them. It adds substantially to the literature on the governance of public and nonprofit organizations; both academics and practitioners would gain much by reading this well-edited text.' - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Vol. 14, No. 3, September 2003 - Dean F. Eitel, DePaul University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - The Changing Context of Governance: Emerging issues and paradoxes Chris Cornforth 2. Who Governs North East England? A regional perspective on governance Fred Robinson and Keith Shaw 3. Are Quasi-governmental Organizations Effective and Accountable? Alan Greer, Paul Hoggett and Stella Maile 4. Service Users and Charity Governance Michael Locke, Nasa Begum and Paul Robson 5. What Influences the Strategic Contribution of Boards? Charles Edwards and Chris Cornforth 6. The Financial Role of Charity Boards Jenny Harrow and Paul Palmer 7. The Role of Boards in Small Voluntary Organizations Colin Rochester 8. Not So Very Different: A comparison of the roles of chairs of governing bodies and managers in different sectors Shirley Otto 9. What are the Chief Executives' Expectations and Experiences of their Board? Veronica Mole 10. Governing Independent Museums: How trustees and directors exercise their powers Mike Bieber 11. The Changing Face of Charity Governance: The impact of organizational size Chris Cornforth and Claire Simpson 12. The Impact of New Governance Structures in the NHS Lynn Ashburner 13. The Changing Face of Governance in Women's Organizations Jane W. Grant 14. Summary and Conclusions - Contextualizing and Managing the Paradoxes of Governance Chris Cornforth

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Management of Voluntary and Non-Profit Organizations

Voluntary and non-profit organizations are playing an increasingly significant role, worldwide, in the provision and management of public services. Drawing together significant and ground breaking research, this series will be essential reading for students of public policy and management as well as the thinking manager. Topics covered include the management of innovation and change, financial management, performance evaluation and management and organizational development and project management.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior