31 Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Q. 5 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/npvolsq31 and id is 1 raw text is: 













                                ARTICLES




Negotiating Accountability: Managerial Lessons
From Identity-Based Nonprofit Organizations




Sonia   Ospina
New   York  University

William Diaz
University   of Minnesota

James   F. O'Sullivan
New   York  University


   This article explores the emerging conceptualization of accountability in nonprofit orga-
   nizations. This definition broadens traditional concerns with finances, internal controls,
   and regulatory compliance. The authors explore how the top-level managers of 4 identity-
   based nonprofit organizations (IBNPs) faced accountability and responsiveness chal-
   lenges to accomplish their mission. The organization-community link was the core rela-
   tionship in their accountability environment, helping the IBNP managers achieve what
   the literature calls negotiated accountability. The managers favored organizational
   mechanisms to sustain this relationship in the midst of the accountability demands they
   experienced daily. Communication with the primary constituency tended to drive the
   organization's priorities and programs, helped managers find legitimate negotiation
   tools with other stakeholders, and helped develop a broader notion of accountability. The
   authors discuss the implications of these findings for other nonprofit organizations and
   propose questions to further clarify the concepts of broad accountability, negotiated
   accountability, and the link between accountability and responsiveness in nonprofits.


In a world in which  diversity, globalization, and technology  are changing  the
environment   in which all organizations function, there is a growing sense that
accountability  in nonprofit organizations  must  be considered  in its broadest
terms  (Fry, 1995). These evolving definitions suggest that the widest range  of
stakeholders   expect  to be-and should be-involved in all facets of an


Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 1, March 2002 5-31
@ 2002 Sage Publications
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