IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/iaf/journl/y2013i1p8-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Accountability and the Public Interest in the Nonprofit Sector: A Conceptual Framework

Author

Listed:
  • Vladislav Valentinov

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe)

Abstract

In all parts of the world, nonprofit organizations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their congruence with the public interest through the use of effective accountability mechanisms. The paper clarifies the nature of nonprofit accountability by distinguishing between the substantive and processual understandings of the public interest. The major theories of the nonprofit sector are shown to imply that this sector's activities correspond to the public interest only in its processual understanding, but not in the substantive one. The proposed argument explains why nonprofit accountability has highly contingent nature and why it is increasingly required to embrace more than merely mission outcome-related measures. The practical implications of this argument are twofold. First, nonprofits should not be criticized for pursuing particularistic missions. The public interest legitimacy of nonprofit missions merely requires these to be legal and responsive to their stakeholders. Second, it has been argued that the development of nonprofit accountability mechanisms is importantly driven by the need to communicate the processual dimension of nonprofits' activities, in the sense of crystallizing nonprofits' contributions to democracy building, civic participation, and social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Vladislav Valentinov, 2013. "Accountability and the Public Interest in the Nonprofit Sector: A Conceptual Framework," Accounting and Finance, Institute of Accounting and Finance, issue 1, pages 8-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:iaf:journl:y:2013:i:1:p:8-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.afj.org.ua/pdf/41-problema-suspilnogo-interesu-v-diyalnosti-nekomerciynogo-sektora-konceptualni-zasadi.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.afj.org.ua/ua/author/44/
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    accountability; public interest; nonprofit organization.;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iaf:journl:y:2013:i:1:p:8-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Serhiy Ostapchuk). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iafkvua.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.