Partners in leadership: how can tensions between governance and management be minimised and effective leadership partnerships be maximised, in small voluntary organisations?

Gillard, Sue (2008) Partners in leadership: how can tensions between governance and management be minimised and effective leadership partnerships be maximised, in small voluntary organisations? MBA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The literature review found the voluntary sector is being influenced by many external factors as well its innate culture of altruism, passion and commitment to make a difference. The conclusion drawn from the literature review and supported by empirical findings in regard to the study's aims is positive; a joint partnership style of leadership was suitable for the sector and particularly small voluntary organisations. However, the main thrust of the study was to find out if those working in small voluntary organisations would consider a partnership approach suitable and desirable. The findings from the research questionnaire were very positive about the desire to develop partnerships between staff, trustees and services user. Indicating that 86% respondent felt a leadership partnership could be constructed that recognised the interdependent nature of the partners and achieved positives such as cohesiveness, respect, and open communication. The findings also indicated a desire to learn and develop which would support the introduction of this style of leadership into organisations where it did not exist or where the organisation wished to strengthen or improve the quality of their leadership partnerships. In fact most small organisation within this study were already well on their way to exhibiting this style of leadership because it had already developed naturally, due to the smallness of their operations. The five interviews with staff and trustees indicated that although tension between governance and management do exist, they were not as profound as others suggested. The interviewees described other tensions and challenges that also impacted on their organisations; the smallness of the organisation was one of the key influences. Their smallness impacted greatly on their financial, time and manpower resources and consequently on their support needs. The study found small organisations wanted help to facilitate their own learning and development via whole-organisation away days. They wanted time to share and learn together; the key was not a leadership framework or a course, but a holistic team approach to improving the running of the organisation. Equally it became apparent that their commitment and passion needed to be channelled not only to promote the organisation's impact on the beneficiaries but also to promote the quality of management and governance in leading vibrant organisations to succeed in the current challenging funding climate. What was concerning was the degree of instability within the sector, particularly for small organisations, in relation to a shortage of sustainable funding, and what some saw as an attack on the very essence of the sector's ethos and structure; by government policy and the super-income charities. The current challenging external environment had an impact on how the study made its recommendations about the future support and development of governance, management and leadership partnerships.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Portsmouth Business School > Operations and Systems Management
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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