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An exploratory study to understand the challenges encountered by Irish charities with implementing good governance standards

O'Connor, Noel (2019) An exploratory study to understand the challenges encountered by Irish charities with implementing good governance standards. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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While there is a significant amount of literature available in the area of governance and regulation for commercial entities, this is a relatively new topic in terms of charities, not for profits or the ‘third sector’. This thesis has identified some of the key themes that have emerged within the literature as a result of enhanced regulatory obligations or a change in public expectations. The factors leading to variations in governance practices are discussed within the context of the identified governance frameworks and a view is formed on what the key governance challenges are for Irish charities following the introduction of formal regulation.

The researcher engaged a qualitative approach to gather information through semi-structured interviews with nine participants. All participants have current senior roles in the charity sector as senior management of incorporated charities, consultants or advocates/regulators. A focus group was then conducted with seven Regional Managers (CEO equivalent) who are the most senior employees within their respective incorporated charities. Each are leading an individual charitable entity (CLG) with the same objects, but in different areas of Ireland. The purpose of the interviews was to elicit information from senior professionals within the ‘third sector’ regarding their experience of governance issues, while the purpose of the focus group was to facilitate a discussion between senior professionals from within the same network of charitable companies on the findings from the individual interviews.

The results of the research showed a clear willingness to comply with the new regulatory obligations that charities have. There is no indication that organisations are not willing to comply or operate to the highest governance standards but there are clearly challenges facing the sector. The challenges facing organisations are outlined along with a commentary regarding how better management and the creation of a balanced agenda of compliance with the expected governance standards, and service delivery will result in well-run organisations and lead to better services for the end user.

This thesis discusses considerations for charities when deciding on their governance model and highlights how a hybrid of existing theoretical frameworks may be appropriate for implementation within the sector.

This thesis excludes any consideration of public service health and education organisations that are registered as charities by virtue of the fact that they held Revenue CHY numbers prior to the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Charity Organisations
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 Science in Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ni Mhaicin
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 08:57
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 08:57

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