Multifaceted not-for-profit accountability: Its measurement, cultural context and impact on perceived social performance

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Abstract

This study investigates the multifaceted nature of accountability mechanisms in Australian not‐for‐profit organizations (NFPs), the association between organizational culture and the use of these mechanisms, and the association between accountability mechanisms and perceived NFP social performance. The findings support the theorization of multifaceted accountability mechanisms in NFPs, including upward accountability (to funders), downward accountability (to clients), and lateral accountability (to employees). The findings highlight that the use of lateral accountability mechanisms is positively associated with the use of both upward and downward accountability (i.e. external accountability) mechanisms. Also, it is found that the culture of respect for people is positively associated with the use of all three accountability mechanisms, whereas the culture of outcome orientation is positively associated with the use of upward and lateral accountability mechanisms. Further, the findings suggest that all three types of accountability mechanisms have positive relations with perceived NFP social performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-322
Number of pages20
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Volume37
Issue number3
Early online date22 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • accountability mechanisms
  • lateral accountability mechanisms
  • not-for-profit
  • organizational culture
  • social performance

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