Public Accountability, Context and Nonprofit Performance

01 May 2023 → 30 April 2027
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Belgian public administration
    • Comparative public administration
    • Public administration organisations
Nonprofit Organizations Public accountability Context
Project description

Nowadays, many nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are publicly funded. While critics reduce this dynamic to a bureaucratic exercise that takes time away from organizational core activities, management researchers argue that public accountability encourages organizational learning. Public accountability encourages the use of management tools to measure performance. This provides insight into one's own performance, which in turn leads to evidence-based decision-making.

In this PhD project, we investigate under what circumstances public accountability is (un)likely to contribute to organizational learning within NPOs. We do this through a literature review, an international survey study, a survey experiment and a multiple case study. The results of this research contribute to the nonprofit management literature and practice by highlighting how contextual factors can transform public accountability into a meaningful practice for both government and the NPO at hand.