A Century of Nonprofit Studies: Scaling the Knowledge of the Field
Voluntas (2018) 29: 1139. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-018-00057-5
54 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2016 Last revised: 17 Dec 2018
Date Written: October 6, 2018
This empirical study examines knowledge production between 1925 and 2015 in nonprofit and philanthropic studies from quantitative and thematic perspectives. Quantitative results suggest that scholars in this field have been actively generating a considerable amount of literature and a solid intellectual base for developing this field towards a new discipline. Thematic analyses suggest that knowledge production in this field is also growing in cohesion – several main themes have been formed and actively advanced since the 1980s, and the study of volunteering can be identified as a unique core theme of this field. The lack of geographic and cultural diversity is a critical challenge for advancing nonprofit studies. New paradigms are needed for developing this research field and mitigating the tension between academia and practice. Methodological and pedagogical implications, limitations, and future studies are discussed.
Keywords: nonprofit and philanthropic studies; network analysis; knowledge production; paradigm shift; science mapping
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