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dc.contributor.advisorSpence, Deb
dc.contributor.advisorThomas, David
dc.contributor.authorDarkins, Christine Laurel (Tina)
dc.date.accessioned2010-10-08T01:02:53Z
dc.date.available2010-10-08T01:02:53Z
dc.date.copyright2010
dc.date.issued2010-10-08
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10292/1013
dc.descriptionThis project was prompted by a concern that an unacceptable number of Northland non-profit community organisations were failing, causing distress to the communities they serve and a loss of taxpayer monies. I could find no reliable source of information about the size and effectiveness of the health and social services provided by community organisations in the Northland region or any documented understanding of the difficulties they face. This project, therefore, explored the issues confronting non-profit community organisations delivering services to the community in the areas of health and social services in Northland. It aims to identify the factors that contribute to the success of community organisations with a view to assisting them to identify and overcome the difficulties they face. A mixed-method study based on the development design outlined by Greene, Caracelli and Graham (1989) was used to answer the research question: What factors make a community organisation successful? The development design facilitated four sequential phases purposely chosen for their ability to produce sufficient information within each phase to inform the next phase, as follows: 1. Phase 1 was a demographic profile of community organisations. The purpose was to produce a current and accurate document to inform Phases 2, 3 and 4 of the project. The inclusion criterion was that the community organisation was to be non-profit and deliver health or social services to the communities of Northland. A total of 1177 organisations were identified. 2. Phase 2 involved qualitative key informant interviews of community organisation representatives (n=12). The participants were chosen by random selection from the Phase 1 database. The purpose of the interviews was to identify the reported reasons for the success or difficulties experienced by their organisation, with a view to informing the development of a mail survey. The twelve interviews included three interviews within each of the four selected organisations: one each from a board member, manager and staff member. The data were then analysed using an inductive approach to develop themes. The purpose was to reduce the data into a set of summary themes that could be used to inform the Phase 3 mail survey. Twenty-eight survey themes were constructed. 3. Phase 3 was the development, piloting and distribution of a survey sent to 900 members of 300 health and social service community organisations in Northland, representing board, management and staff. On completion of the survey (n=222) the data was analysed to identify underlying dimensions using an exploratory factor analysis with principal components analysis and varimax rotation (used because the orthogonal rotations made the loadings clearer). Three key factors were extracted. Cronbach's alpha was used to refine the factors into three scales which were used for the subsequent analyses. Analyses included comparison by: position within the organisation (of board, management or staff); geographical location within Northland (of Whangarei, Kaipara and Mid-Far North); and service type (of health or social services). The first four to five items in each scale gave the best indication of the features essential for a successful community organisation. The three scales and associated items were as follows: i. Effective board, management and staff relationships • establishing a working relationship with the local community that is based on mutual trust and support; • clear lines of responsibility within the organisation; • the presence of mutual respect and support between board, management and staff; • clear and appropriate job descriptions; and • a clear and achievable mission statement. ii. Good external links with government and community • the level of performance of government departments that work with community organisations; • government departments understanding the difficulties faced by community organisations; • there being sufficient volunteers to provide the help needed by community organisations; and • there being sufficient people with the skills and experience needed to run community organisations in the community. iii. Funding insecurity • managing staff burnout; • alleviating funding uncertainty; • securing adequate funding; and • educating volunteers. (Funding insecurity is a negative factor but overcoming this becomes a success factor). These three factors for success have strength in that they were common to all groups, in all regions, both sectors and by status and came directly by the members of community organisations themselves. Board members showed significantly more agreement with Scale 2 measuring “good external links with government and community” compared with managers and staff members F (2,219)=6.91, p<0.001. This reflects their strategic role. The differences were small and non-significant in other comparisons among position, geographical locations, and service type. 4. Phase 4 was a hui to discuss, challenge and confirm the research findings. The three factors for success were used as the basis for discussion. This was attended by representatives of Northland community organisations and the government departments that provide funding for community organisations in Northland. The attendees participated in a workshop where four groups were formed: board members, managers, service delivery staff and funders. The critical components of a successful community organisation were confirmed. This project sought to increase the body of knowledge pertaining to community organisations in the areas of health and social services. It has highlighted difficulties including the haphazard way the sector has evolved, the problems of accounting for the distribution of funds and for measuring success. The results of this project have shown that success for Northland community organisations depends on three main factors: 1. Having the ability and skills to build and maintain effective board, management and staff relationships. 2. Establishing and maintaining good external links with government and the community. 3. Managing funding insecurity. Central to achieving maximum benefit from organisations human resources is the board, management and staff relationships. The main factors in establishing such relationships are clear lines of responsibility between governance, management and staff and developing clear role definitions that are supported by job descriptions. In addition, the project has identified many features which, if understood and acted upon by individuals establishing a community organisation or who are already involved in community-based service provision, will greatly improve their likelihood of success.
dc.language.isoen_NZ
dc.publisherAuckland University of Technology
dc.subjectCommunity organisations
dc.subjectNon-profit
dc.subjectSuccess factors
dc.titleSuccess factors for community organisations in Tai Tokerau (Northland) New Zealand
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorAuckland University of Technology
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral Theses
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
dc.rights.accessrightsOpenAccess
dc.date.updated2010-10-07T10:09:12Z


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