Normative Management and Diversity in International Non-government Organizations

  • Joshua R. KnappEmail author
  • Mathew L. Sheep
Original Paper


To accomplish their goals, International Non-government Organizations (INGOs) manage a network of internal and external stakeholders across national boundaries while having limited authority under demanding circumstances. Consequently, INGOs often rely on normative management practices aimed at influencing discretionary behavior. Unfortunately, normative management can be difficult when INGO stakeholders perceive little common ground due to large functional, cultural, socioeconomic, and power differences. These dynamics raise an important question: How can INGOs manage internal and external stakeholders in a normative fashion when these stakeholders are remarkably diverse and may perceive little or no similarity among themselves? In response to this difficulty, we argue that effective diversity management is a key contributor of effective normative management, and we develop social cognitive theory aimed at managing the salience and meaning of social distinctions. We also provide initial guidance on adapting management practices when differences are large and when individual identities are exclusive.


International Non-government Organizations Diversity Discretionary behavior Social categorization 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

This research complies with all Voluntas ethical standards.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA
  2. 2.Lutgert College of BusinessFlorida Gulf Coast UniversityFort MyersUSA

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