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The Limits of Nonprofit Impact: A Contingency Framework For Measuring Social Performance

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Author Info

  • Alnoor Ebrahim

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, General Management Unit)

  • V. Kasturi Rangan

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Marketing Unit)

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    Abstract

    Leaders of organizations in the social sector are under growing pressure to demonstrate their impacts on pressing societal problems such as global poverty. We review the debates around performance and impact, drawing on three literatures: strategic philanthropy, nonprofit management, and international development. We then develop a contingency framework for measuring results, suggesting that some organizations should measure long-term impacts, while others should focus on shorter-term outputs and outcomes. In closing, we discuss the implications of our analysis for future research on performance management.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-099.

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    Length: 53 pages
    Date of creation: May 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-099

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    Related research

    Keywords: performance measurement; impact; nonprofit management; social enterprise; philanthropy; accountability; management control systems.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sakarya, Sema & Bodur, Muzaffer & Yildirim-Öktem, Özlem & Selekler-Göksen, Nisan, 2012. "Social alliances: Business and social enterprise collaboration for social transformation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 1710-1720.

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