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Interpersonal Trust and the Governance Structures of Irish Non-Profit Organisations

Woods, Gavan (2019) Interpersonal Trust and the Governance Structures of Irish Non-Profit Organisations. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Purpose of study: This study was undertaken to explore the impact of trust on the quality of the relationship between Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and their board Chairpersons in Irish non-profit organisations. As the two most senior members of a non-profit organsition, the author wished to understand if the presence of trust or mistrust between them had repercussions for their ability to fulfil their respective roles or for the organsition to achieve its charitable aims. The study looks to see if the findings on this subject within the literature are confirmed or contradicted in the Irish context.

Methodology/Approach: The researcher used qualitative methods to approach the research problem. They conducted semi-structured interviews with a small purposefully identified sample of seven CEOs of Irish non-profit organisations. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, with the permission of the participants, and subjected to template analysis with a view to discovering the key themes and subthemes within them. The findings were then assessed against the research question and sub-questions, developed from a study of the available literature. The findings offer deep insights that may be applicable more widely within the sector.

Findings: The study showed that the CEOs view trust to be fundamental to the creation of strong professional relationships between them and their Chairs. The participants agree that congruence of goals and outlook with their Chair in relation to their organisations is vital to trust creation. Other factors including the professional ability of the Chair, support for them by the Chair at board level and the availability of the Chair, all had an impact on trust levels within the relationship. High levels of trust were directly linked by the most participants with improved governance and outcomes for the organisation.

Originality: The narratives of the CEOs detail the value placed by them on a trusting relationship with their Chairpersons. This study highlights the importance of good quality professional relationships within the governance structures of Irish non-profit organisations and draws attention to the factors that help achieve them. The implications in terms of organisational outcomes and good governance are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Large Industry. Corporations. > Corporate Governance
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Non Profit Organisations. Voluntary Sector.
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 10:43
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 10:43

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