Organizational slack and its impact on innovation in nonprofit organizations. A theoratical and empirical approach.

by Johannes Sebastian Leitner

Institution: Vienna University of Economics and Business
Year: 2009
Keywords: RVK QQ 000; nonprofit organization / organization / innovation / organizational slack / resources
Record ID: 1031798
Full text PDF: http://epub.wu.ac.at/1894/1/document.pdf


Resources are a key to innovative actions -not only, but also- in nonprofit organizations (NPOs). With the societal obligation of NPOs to create innovative and effective approaches in responding to a variety of concerns such as poverty, human rights, social services, environmental protection etc. this study examines the resource foundations that make NPOs innovative. NPOs are known to show a considerable degree of pioneer work and innovativeness in responding to societal concerns (Salamon et al., 2004). To have NPOs maintain their innovative behavior it is of the utmost interest to identify those requirements and needs that support their specific functions. Organizational slack is suggested to be a very influential factor in determining the innovative behavior of NPOs. Organizational slack are these resources in or available to the organization that are in excess of the minimum necessary to produce a given level of organizational output (Geiger & Cashen, 2002). Innovation is the outcome of a creative process involving different actors which results in a qualitatively new means-end combination that is new to the market or the firm (Gemünden & Salomo, 2004). The question whether or not organizational slack fosters innovation, has not been answered unambiguously so far, since researchers deliver convincing arguments for both standpoints. Against this backdrop, the study seeks to explain the relationship between organizational slack and innovation in nonprofit organizations. More precisely it is of interest to find out how these two concepts are related, positively, negatively, or inversely U-shaped. A sample of 250 randomly selected Austrian NPOs is the data basis for the investigation and was generated in cooperation with Statistik Austria. Through questionnaires the data for the study was collected. To test the proposed hypotheses the data is analyzed through inferential statistics. (author's abstract)