Chapter 7 Neoinstitutional theory and nonprofit governance research
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In this chapter, we assume an analytical take on governance from a neoinstitutionalist perspective. We suggest that neoinstitutional theory, with its focus on socio-historical cultural patterns, types of actors and actions, expectations, systems of coordination and related meanings is an informative and generative lens on contemporary issues of nonprofit governance and governance research more broadly. In particular, we distinguish and elaborate on two layers. On the inter-institutional layer, different institutional spheres (e.g., state, economy or family) develop distinct and potentially competing governance configurations. On the intra-institutional layer, a specific institutional sphere may translate into different orders depending on the socio-cultural setting (e.g., coordinated versus liberal market economies), consequently implying variations in governance regimes. Throughout the chapter, we introduce the most prominent conceptual ideas of neoinstitutional thinking and link these to contemporary issues of nonprofit governance.

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