A Coalition Perspective on Nonprofit Governance Quality: Analyzing Dimensions of Influence in an Exploratory Comparative Case Analysis

Jurgen Willems, Frederik Andersson, Marc Jegers, David Renz

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


We answer the call that governance research should focus more on processes outside the boundaries of boards, especially for nonprofit organizations. In particular, we suggest and elaborate concrete steps with respect to the advantages of a leadership coalition perspective to focus more on the behavioral and informal aspects of governance. Through a comparative case analysis of five nonprofit organizations, we explore contingencies between characteristics of nonprofit leadership coalitions and governance quality. We identify two dimensions to classify leadership coalitions: centralized versus diffused influence and specific versus holistic influence. These dimensions are subsequently related with observed governance quality. We frame our finding in the existing literature on group faultlines, which are socially constructed dividing lines within groups, and we discuss the importance of establishing a balanced coalition between a weak or nonexisting and a strong dominant coalition to ensure high governance quality. We also present propositions on how governance quality and its various sub-dimensions can be studied as a complex, nonlinear intermediate concept between coalitional aspects of leadership groups and nonprofit organizational performance. Finally, we discuss concrete avenues for further testing and verification of our theoretical interpretation.
Seiten (von - bis)1422 - 1447
FachzeitschriftVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2017

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

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  • 605005 Publikumsforschung
  • 501008 Gruppendynamik


  • Comparative case analysis
  • Leadership coalitions
  • Nonprofit governance quality
  • influence
  • leadership
  • power
  • qualitative