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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Interorganizational relationships related to funding in nongovernmental organizations Manson-Singer, Sharon


Interorganizational Relationships are defined by Levine and White (1961) as 'any voluntary activity between two organizations which has consequences actual or anticipated, for the realization of their respective goals or objectives'. This model of exchange is enhanced by the development of General Systems Theory, and the contribution of R.L. Warren's model of the Interorganizational Field (1967). In this research the definition of IOR is viewed as a natural consequence for organizations that exist within the systems' framework. Exchange exists due to the pre-existing networks in the IO field. The purpose of this research was to examine the nature and structure of IO behavior around information exchange related to funding as perceived by Executive Directors of Non-governmental Organizations in the Social Service field, in the City of Vancouver. It was hypothesized that NGOs must maintain a balance of information exchange in the systems context of input, throughput and output in order to maintain a healthy funding picture. A model of collaborative information exchange' was introduced as a viable method of ensuring funding for NGOs. Seventy Executive Directors responded to a mailed questionnaire which was labelled Factors Related to Organizational Funding. The survey included seven demographic items as well as twenty-nine items about information needs and priorities in organizations. There were nine information categories in which three questions were repeated. They were about information needs: priority assigned; and with whom and why the organization shared the organization shared information. The remaining two items asked the respondents to rank the importance of the constituency groups plus one overall item ranking the the purpose of information sharing by constituency groups. The study design was Exploratory-Descriptive and explored issues related to funding in the IO network. Thus the conclusions drawn merely suggest what the data indicates rather than providing hard proof about the validity of the collaborative exchange model in the IOR context. The findings indicate that cooperation around funding among agencies was viewed as the least important constituency with which to share Information. Executive Directors were willing to share information with funders and the public. Consumers ranked third in the majority of information categories. These findings seem to indicate support for a mixed-motive model of IOR rather than the collaborative model presented in this report, or the resource dependency (conflict) model espoused by some researchers. The report includes several recommendations designed to strengthen collaboration among social service agencies to Improve funding in the social services system. Chapter Two provides an overview of the IOR literature, and the General Systems framework used in developing the collaborative exchange model.

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