AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Innovation in Non-Profit Organizations

by Sjur Kvifte Nesheim

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::200
Record ID: 1279560
Full text PDF: http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-26536




This thesis explores the characteristics of innovation processes in non-profit organizations (NPOs). The purpose is to discuss whether the current innovation research, which is predominantly based on studies of for-profit organizations, is useful and relevant for understanding innovation in NPOs. As the label indicates, profit is not distributed to any owners or members, and their performance is not ultimately measured by their ability to create profit, but their ability to fulfil their mission. This implies that profit per se is not a motive for innovating in NPOs. However, NPOs can be found in various types, which may have different challenges when innovating, and the lack of profit motive might not influence all NPOs equally. To explore innovation processes in NPOs, and possible differences among them, I have chosen to make distinctions between two different ownership structures, the member-owned organization and the foundation. To explore these research questions I have conducted a multiple case study of the member-owned organization Norges Automobil-forbund (NAF) and the foundation Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The empirical data consists of semi-structured interviews, and documents. In the member-owned structure there was found different emphasis between the members and the administration. Whereas the members emphasized innovations that contributed towards the mission, the administration was concerned with the economic aspects of the innovation process. While the existing literature argues that innovation in NPOs is less prominent than for-profit organizations, it is in the present study indicates that NPOs may also have well-established routines for innovation, and be successful innovators.