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Managing multiple accountabilities: Balancing outputs, inputs and behaviours to implement strategy in a large Australian charity

Third Sector Review
Volume 19 Issue 2 (2013)

Abstract: That not-for-profit organisations acquit multiple accountabilities to a wide range of stakeholders is well documented in the research literature and in practitioner submissions to enquiries into disclosures by third sector organisations. At a conceptual level, accountability has been acknowledged to extend beyond mere agent to principal reporting, to embrace ethical and strategic thinking. While the nature of the various stakeholders to whom third sector organisations acquit accountabilities have been well documented, as have the purposes served by such acquittals, the mechanisms by which multiple accountabilities can be integrated in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders and the organisation have yet to be fully explored. This paper contributes to our understanding of the complex issue of third sector accountability by explaining the ways in which one large, multi-service Australian community service organisation managed its multiple accountabilities. In doing so, it builds on prior models of accountability by emphasising the relationship between after-the-fact reporting on outputs, ongoing behavioural processes and organisational inputs. It is the result of a single-organisation, field-based case study. The paper shows that the acquittal of accountabilities was essentially a strategic response by a voluntarily organisation, in order that it might stay true to its mission and optimise service delivery while navigating the highly regulated domain of Australian welfare provision.

To cite this article: Saj, Phil. Managing multiple accountabilities: Balancing outputs, inputs and behaviours to implement strategy in a large Australian charity [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2013: 51-78. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=855367734128144;res=IELAPA> ISSN: 1323-9163. [cited 23 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Saj, Phil; Source: Third Sector Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2013: 51-78 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1323-9163 Subject: Charities--Accounting; Accounting--Management; Taxation--Compliance costs; Auditing; Peer Reviewed: Yes

Database: APAFT