Motivated by the importance and distinctiveness of accountability to stakeholders in not-for-profit organizations (NFPs), we examine the use of Ebrahim's accountability mechanisms in a large sample of service delivery NFPs in Australia. Although much prior literature relies on the concept of stakeholder power to explain NFPs’ accountability practices, stakeholder salience (embracing the concepts of stakeholder power, legitimacy, and urgency) emerges as a competing explanation. Utilizing Mitchell et al.’s stakeholder salience framework, we examine the impact of stakeholder power, legitimacy, and urgency on NFPs’ use of accountability mechanisms to account to two key stakeholder groups, government and beneficiaries. Our results show that although legitimacy and urgency of government influence the use of upward accountability mechanisms, beneficiary power influences the use of the downward accountability mechanism of participation.
- accountability mechanisms
- stakeholder salience