Previous research has often focused on the board of directors as the primary actor in the governance of membership-based organizations (MBOs). This chapter aims at a broader approach to MBOs’ internal democratic governance systems by casting the rank-and-file members as the main actors. Drawing on two models, one dealing with member influence and the other portraying single- and multilevel MBOs, the chapter discusses key elements in these organizations’ governance systems, including statutes, the board of directors, nomination committees, lay auditors, modes of member influence, appointment of elected representatives, annual meetings and general assemblies. The intent of the chapter is to raise awareness regarding the scope and complexity of governance in MBOs and to suggest some directions for future research.
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