Third Sector Organisation Accountability and Performance

  • Jenny Onyx
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)
Accountability is the state of being called to account, to provide an explanation or justification for one’s conduct or duties, especially, but not only, for the appropriate and lawful use of finance. Few would argue that all persons and organisations should be accountable. For third-sector organisations (TSOs)—that is, for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) alike, whose mission is to provide a service for the greater good—the imperative of accountability is especially strong. However, behind the ‘motherhood’ acceptance of the importance of accountability, much remains opaque. In particular, several important questions are left begging:
  • To whom is the organisation accountable, and for what? (Leat, 1988)

  • How is this accountability to be demonstrated, and what compliance mechanisms are available and necessary to ensure that the organisation remains within its accepted zone of conduct?

  • Put another way, who has (or should have) the power to enforce compliance, and, if this is the state, does such power potentially curtail the capacity of the organisation to operate autonomously?


Corporate Governance Chief Executive Officer Financial Management External Relation Foreign Funding 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny Onyx
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Management at the University of TechnologySydney (UTS)Australia

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