Managing people in the voluntary and not-for-profit sector in Britain and Canada

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Haiven, Judith
  • Subject: HD

This dissertation set out to examine two quite separate but interrelated issues.\ud First, it explored the comparative history of charity in the UK and Canada, and\ud attempted to calculate the size of the footprint history has left on today's nonprofit\ud sector management. Secondly, the dissertation set out to explore how human\ud resources are managed in each country's voluntary sector, mainly through a\ud comparative analysis of 26 case studies. Four broad questions were articulated in\ud Chapter One which go to the heart of these issues. The first two, which deal with the\ud history, have links to the last two, which deal with the human resources agenda.\ud Twenty-six voluntary organisations were chosen for the study. Thirteen British\ud organisations were matched with thirteen Canadian ones in areas such as health care,\ud social services and international development. The researcher used a qualitative\ud methodology -- an open-ended questionnaire and interviews with key informants\ud about HRM practices. Documents such as leaflets, annual reports, and recruitment\ud kits were collected.\ud There are two consistent themes that run through this research. First, the rate\ud of change in the voluntary sector is profound. From concerns expressed in the mid-\ud 20th century that the sector would be seriously eroded by the state, there is now the\ud idea that voluntary sector provision will be taking the place of state provision in some\ud areas in years to come.\ud A second theme is size. The size of organisations within the voluntary sector\ud predict many things from the level of service, to management, to how human resources\ud are managed. On the face of it, large size voluntary organisations offer the prospects\ud of more systematic and equitable HR policies. But with size come problems such as\ud bureaucracy, inflexibility and loss of personal stake (and personal service) in an\ud organisation. Yet it is the individualised service and community-based support which\ud ensures the sector's uniqueness and longevity.
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