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New book on non-profit governance

New book on non-profit governance

Routledge has published “The governance of public and non-profit organisations: What do boards do?” edited by Chris Cornforth, a Senior Lecturer at the Open University Business School.

Routledge claim that most books on governance in public and non-profit organisations are prescriptive and recommend unrealistic solutions: too often they underestimate “the constraints and conflicting demands that boards face.” Their latest title, edited by Chris Cornforth, is, they say, one of the few detailed empirical studies of what boards do in practice. It brings together analyses based upon some of the best recent empirical studies of public and non-profit governance in the UK.

Using a new theoretical framework that highlights the paradoxical nature of governance the book throws light on various 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?
  • What do boards do? Are they effective stewards of an organisation’s resources? Can they play a meaningful role in setting organisational strategy?
  • What effects are regulatory and other changes designed to improve board effectiveness having?

The book is directed at academics and students with an interest in the governance and management of public and non-profit organisations. It should 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.

The 272-page hardcover book costs £60/$95. It is the latest in the series “Routledge Studies in the Management of Voluntary and Non-Profit Organizations.”

Editor Chris Cornforth is Senior Lecturer in Management and Head of Public Interest and Non-profit Management Research Unit (PiN) at the Open University Business School. His research focuses on the governance and management of non-profit organisations.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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