In theoretical physics scientists have struggled for centuries to understand how the universe works at the smallest and very largest scales, as well as in the realm of everyday experience. In nonprofit governance, most research focuses on boards of directors. At a second level, researchers study how a nonprofit is kept accountable through external relationships such as funding and government regulation. At a broader level, researchers study how the direction of a nonprofit organization is guided by the markets and political and social systems in which they are embedded. This chapter inquires about the possibility of an overall theory to explain how nonprofits are governed at all of these levels by reviewing the theories employed in the earlier chapters of this handbook and assessing the gaps, inconsistencies and opportunities for future development.
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