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Mission drift?: The third sector and the pressure to be businesslike: Evidence from job services Australia

Third Sector Review
Volume 20 Issue 1 (Jun 2014)

Abstract: Becoming more businesslike is seen by many not-for-profit (NFP) agencies as necessary for survival, if not expansion, under the conditions required by New Public Management (NPM). Charged with delivering social services in a competitive environment, NFP agencies must often compete with each other, and with for-profit (FP) organisations, in order to obtain and retain government contracts. While some things are known about why NFP agencies emulate FPs, and the means by which they do so, little is known about whether adopting a more businesslike approach yields benefits. In this study we compare attitudes to profit maximisation against other client-oriented goals among NFP agencies delivering contracted employment services in Australia. We find that profit-maximising attitudes have increased dramatically between 1998 and 2012. Yet despite this, we find no correlation between a profit-orientated disposition and the rate at which services improve for clients. We conclude that while becoming more businesslike might be beneficial for a host of reasons, it does not appear to help agencies meet their key performance indicator: achieving positive outcomes for those they seek to serve.

To cite this article: Considine, Mark; O'Sullivan, Siobhan and Nguyen, Phuc. Mission drift?: The third sector and the pressure to be businesslike: Evidence from job services Australia [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, Jun 2014: 87-107. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=535390979767726;res=IELAPA> ISSN: 1323-9163. [cited 23 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Considine, Mark; O'Sullivan, Siobhan; Nguyen, Phuc; Source: Third Sector Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, Jun 2014: 87-107 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1323-9163 Subject: Civil service reform; Nonprofit organizations; Public contracts; Employment agencies; Peer Reviewed: Yes

Database: APAFT