Essential management tasks performed by volunteers on management committees of non-profit organisations

Mashale, Termica Rethabile (2017-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISCH ABSTRACT: Non-profit management, in the social services, is an area of growing scholarly interest but is seldom understood in the context of development. The evidence that exists in management tasks and governance is derived from corporate governance and management which differs significantly from that of managing social services. Furthermore, the voluntary nature of the management committees of social services organisations means the transactional relationship that an employer and employee have does not exist. Thus, volunteers are morally and statutorily bound to the organisation but can withhold their services and time without suffering any punitive measures. The body of knowledge that exists on volunteers is primary focussed on the volunteers who intrinsically want to work at the coalface of operations to the neglect of the volunteers who serve on the management committees of social service organisations. Moreover, with the changing world, the face of volunteerism is fast changing shape and operating across boarders in search of purpose, adventure and desire to see the world. With the face of volunteerism changing, research needs to keep abreast as it directly impacts the services offer by social services and non-profits. South African policies and legislation, ill define the role and responsibilities of volunteers on management committees of non-profit organisations (NPOs) and further confound issues in advocating for developmental social services and capacity building, yet do not adequately define it in practice for small to large non-profits. The social work profession, particularly as practised in the non-profit sector, tremendously impacts and is best positioned to support both beneficiaries and management of NPOs. Therefore, a keener understanding of volunteers and their role as governors on the management committees of non-profits is key in unlocking the capacity that volunteers bring to organisations in order to bolster the human resources of an organisation. The study explored and described the essential management tasks as performed by volunteers on the management committees of social service non-profit organisations in the Western Cape. This was done by synthesising the essential management tasks from literature and how they are implemented in practice by volunteers in NPOs. By deductively synthesising the essential management tasks, the researcher was able to define the scope and boundaries of the Stellenbosch University research, offer meaningful definitions and models for which the governance work by volunteers could be explored and understood. The empirical study and the findings were analysed in line with the data categories as identified in the essential management tasks, namely: strategic planning, human resources management, financial management, transformation/change management, project management, fundraising, formation, communications and systems management, monitoring and evaluation, and public relations and stakeholder management. Subthemes were identified from the empirical data in accordance with the practice and narratives of the research participants. The findings indicate that volunteers prioritise management tasks based on organisational reputational risk to donors, depending on capacity within the management committee and do not adopt an integrated approach to management tasks. The volunteers’ roles on management committees require more formalisation, clarification on the various levels of management and the accountability that is bestowed on volunteers at the echelons of power within NPOs. Additionally, volunteers need education on their roles and responsibilities so they can carry out their governance of NPOs. Recommendations were made along the literature categories, with specific recommendations under reach category. Generally, the main recommendations are the need to educate volunteers on their roles and responsibilities and the statutory requirements thereof, educate staff on the role of volunteers and training of volunteers on the integration of management tasks so that organisations are viewed in their integrated holistic sense rather than fragmented parts that do not make a whole.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Nie-winsgewende bestuur in maatskaplike dienste is ʼn groeiende area wat kundiges se belangstelling wek, maar dit word meermale nie binne die konteks van maatskaplike ontwikkeling verstaan nie. Bewyse wat bestaan oor bestuurstake en beheer, het vanuit korporatiewe beheer en bestuur ontwikkel en verskil aansienlik van die bestuur van maatskaplike dienste. Die vrywillige aard van bestuurskomitees van maatskaplike diensorganisasies behels voorts dat die transaksionele verhouding tussen ʼn werkgewer en werknemer nie bestaan nie. Vrywilligers is dus moreel en statutêr tot ʼn organisasie verbind, maar kan hulle dienste enige tyd onttrek, sonder om aan strafregtelike gevolge onderhewig te wees. Die kennisbasis wat oor vrywilligers bestaan, fokus primêr op vrywilligers wie intrinsiek voorsteliniewerk wil verrig, tot nadeel van vrywilligers wie op die bestuurskomitees van maatskaplike diensorganisasies dien. Verder, in ʼn veranderende wêreld, is die voorkoms van vrywilligers vinnig besig om te verander, oor grense heen, omdat mense sekere doelwitte wil bereik, avonture wil beleef en die wêreld wil verken. Met die voorkoms van vrywilligerwerk wat verander, moet navorsing op die voorpunt wees, omdat vrywilligers regstreeks op maatskaplike dienste impakteer, wat deur nie-winsgewende organisasies gelewer word. Suid Afrikaanse beleide en wetgewing, definieer die rol en verantwoordelikhede van vrywilligers op bestuurskomitees van nie-winsgewende organisasies (NWOs) nie voldoende nie en verwar sekere aangeleenthede in hul voorspraak vir ontwikkelingsgerigte maatskaplike dienste en kapasiteitsbou. Die maatskaplikewerk-professie, soos dit in die nie-winsgewende omgewing gepraktiseer word, het ʼn groot impak en is die beste geposisioneer om ondersteuning te bied aan begunstigdes en besture van NWOs. Daarom is ʼn beter begrip van vrywilligers in die beheer van bestuurskomitees van nie-winsgewende organisasies ʼn sleutel tot die onsluiting van die kapasiteit wat vrywilligers na organisasies bring, ten einde die menslike hulpbronne van organisasies te versterk. Hierdie studie verken en beskryf die essensiële bestuurstake soos dit verrig word deur vrywilligers op die besuurskomitees van maatskaplike nie-winsgewende organisasies in die Weskaap. Dit is gedoen deur middel van ʼn sintese van essensiële bestuurstake vanuit die literatuur en hoe dit in die praktyk deur vrywilligers in NWOs toegepas word. Deur ʼn Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za vi deduktiewe sintese van essensiële bestuurstake, was die navorser in staat om die omvang en grense van die navorsing te stel, en om betekenisvolle definisies en modelle aan te bied om beheersing deur vrywilligers te verken en te verstaan. Die empiriese studie en bevindinge is ontleed, ooreenstemmend met die datakategorieë, wat vanuit die essensiële bestuurstake geïdentifiseer is, naamlik: strategies beplanning, menslike hulpbronnebestuur, finansiële bestuur, transformasie/veranderingsbestuur, projekbestuur, fondswerwing, kommunikasie en sisteembestuur, monitering en evaluering, en die bestuur van openbare verhoudings en belanghebbendes. Subtemas is geïdentifiseer vanuit die empiriese data, op grond van die praktyke en narratiewe van die navorsingsdeelnemers. Die bevindinge toon aan dat die vrywilligers prioritiseer bestuurstake gebaseer op die reputasies en risiko’s van donateurs, afhangende van die kapasiteit van die besuurskomitee, en hulle benader bestuurstake nie geïntegreerd nie. Die rolle van vrywilligers op bestuurskomitees vereis meer formalisering, klarifisering op verskillende bestuursvlakke, en verantwoordbaarheid van magte, wat deur NWOs aan vrywilligers toegedeel word. Voorts benodig vrywilligers meer opleiding oor hulle rolle en verantwoordelikhede ten einde die beheer van NWOs te kan deurvoer. Aanbevelings word gemaak na aanleiding van die literatuurkategorieë, met spesifieke aanbevelings ten opsigte van elke kategorie. In die algemeen fokus die hoofaanbevelings op die behoefte vir opleiding van vrywilligers oor hulle rolle en verantwoordelikhede en die statutêre vereistes daarvan, die opleiding van personeel oor die rol van vrywilligers, en opleiding aan vrywilligers oor die integrering van bestuurstake, sodat organisasies holisties beskou kan word, in plaas van gefragmenteerde dele sonder ʼn geheel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102717
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