Nonprofit versus Corporate Governance: An Economic Approach.

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


This article proposes a new theoretical concept of nonprofit governance using transaction cost economics and the economic theory of contracts. After a short review of economic approaches to corporate governance, I clarify the specific nature of the governance problem in nonprofit organizations. Based on this analysis, I derive criteria for selecting an organization's relevant stakeholders. If stakeholders provide valuable specific resources without the protection of a comprehensive contract that details exactly how the organization is to use these resources, then such stakeholders seek decision and control rights in order to direct the use of the resources they have provided. I argue that the core problem of governance is how to enhance valuable specific contributions of the relevant stakeholders while keeping the costs of bargaining between stakeholders and the costs of collective decision making low. The theory developed is then applied in a discussion of practically relevant governance mechanisms, and the concept of governance is used to contribute to the discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the nonprofit character of organizations from a governance perspective.
Seiten (von - bis)295 - 320
FachzeitschriftNonprofit Management & Leadership
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Apr. 2008