Political Advocacy by Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Management Explanation

Public Performance and Management Review 32(4): 514-536

Posted: 12 Dec 2012

See all articles by Kelly M. LeRoux

Kelly M. LeRoux

University of Kansas - Department of Public Administration

Holly Goerdel

University of Kansas

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Nonprofit organizations serve as a voice for their constituent publics in the political arena, even though advocacy practices remain outside their core mission. Some nonprofits embrace their advocacy roles and engage in these activities frequently, while others choose to avoid these activities altogether. What organizational capacities enable nonprofits to pursue an advocacy agenda? Drawing on theoretical perspectives in organizational behavior, public management, and political science, we propose a strategic management explanation of nonprofit advocacy. Using survey data from nonprofit organizations in Michigan, we test an empirical model in which factors of organizational learning, structure, resource dependence, and resource competitiveness contribute to nonprofits' advocacy activities. Findings suggest that experience with collaborative networking, productive exchange relations with funding principals, representation of lobbying skills at the managerial level, dependence on government resources, and competition in the resource environment all shape nonprofits' advocacy practices in important ways. These findings have important implications for both theory and practice of nonprofit management.

Keywords: strategic management, nonprofit, collaboration, networking, advocacy

Suggested Citation

LeRoux, Kelly M. and Goerdel, Holly, Political Advocacy by Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Management Explanation (2009). Public Performance and Management Review 32(4): 514-536, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2187471

Kelly M. LeRoux

University of Kansas - Department of Public Administration ( email )

Green Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Holly Goerdel (Contact Author)

University of Kansas ( email )

1415
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kupa.ku.edu/faculty/

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