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postgraduate thesis: The management strategies of advocacy-oriented social service nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong

TitleThe management strategies of advocacy-oriented social service nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wong, H. N. [王凱琳]. (2014). The management strategies of advocacy-oriented social service nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5558995
AbstractThe political function of nonprofit organizations is widely recognized in the field of nonprofit management, but less practiced in the real world. The phenomenon has been attributed to neoliberal reforms in the welfare sector by some scholars, but aspirations of nonprofit organizations to be more engaged in the political arena have also been studied in other fields. This results in scattered insights concerning the topic of nonprofit advocacy, for which this thesis attempt to integrate under one framework. The Strategic Triangle, a key component of the Public Value theory, is adapted to construct the analytical framework for this purpose. The triangle conceptualizes organization strategies as deliberate alignments of three elements crucial for public value creation: legitimacy, value mission and organization capacity. In order to articulate the alignment strategy, this research swifts the focus to the processes between them. To put this analytical framework to practice, three cases from Hong Kong are selected for a most similar case study, carried out in the form of a month long participant observation with in-depth interviews with board members, directors, and staff members with each organization. The three cases, a female sex worker organization, a community center for women, and a women workers organization, are all successful and active members from the local women’s movement; they share similar features but differ in their niche areas and value creation strategies. Findings from the case comparison show that they have the same tendency to focus on narrowly defined audience to gain legitimacy, mobilize for resource, and to carry out tactics to achieve their advocacy mission. This is likely related to the semi-democratic political system in Hong Kong where avenues of societal input into policy change are obstructed systematically. Societal input, concerning social welfare and redistributive policies, are culturally and politically not welcomed by the mainstream. Under this circumstance, resource mobilization theory is found to be most relevant in explaining how the organizations position themselves: while they join in the bandwagon of women issues, each has found a niche where they can find an adequate resource mix for their survival. Despite their innovation, resourcefulness, and embeddedness in networks, these organizations are still largely restricted in their advocacy work. The cases show the importance of infrastructure, both in terms of engagement channels into the policy process, and evaluation tools to credit these organizations with legitimacy to carry out advocacy work. Without these foundations, the political system will not be able to benefit from the full potential in performing their political function. This research contributes originally produced empirical evidence on the actual operation of nonprofit organizations that combines policy advocacy and social services. The framework constructed for this thesis is a theoretical contribution to conceptualizing and analyzing organizational strategy to create public value. It also facilitates future comparative study on nonprofit organizations which combines advocacy work and services, as it allows for analyses to infer the mechanisms through which organization’s strategies relate to the social and political structure and their implications on civil society.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectNonprofit organizations - China - Hong Kong - Management
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/216254

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWong, Hoi-lam, Norma-
dc.contributor.author王凱琳-
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-08T23:11:33Z-
dc.date.available2015-09-08T23:11:33Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationWong, H. N. [王凱琳]. (2014). The management strategies of advocacy-oriented social service nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5558995-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/216254-
dc.description.abstractThe political function of nonprofit organizations is widely recognized in the field of nonprofit management, but less practiced in the real world. The phenomenon has been attributed to neoliberal reforms in the welfare sector by some scholars, but aspirations of nonprofit organizations to be more engaged in the political arena have also been studied in other fields. This results in scattered insights concerning the topic of nonprofit advocacy, for which this thesis attempt to integrate under one framework. The Strategic Triangle, a key component of the Public Value theory, is adapted to construct the analytical framework for this purpose. The triangle conceptualizes organization strategies as deliberate alignments of three elements crucial for public value creation: legitimacy, value mission and organization capacity. In order to articulate the alignment strategy, this research swifts the focus to the processes between them. To put this analytical framework to practice, three cases from Hong Kong are selected for a most similar case study, carried out in the form of a month long participant observation with in-depth interviews with board members, directors, and staff members with each organization. The three cases, a female sex worker organization, a community center for women, and a women workers organization, are all successful and active members from the local women’s movement; they share similar features but differ in their niche areas and value creation strategies. Findings from the case comparison show that they have the same tendency to focus on narrowly defined audience to gain legitimacy, mobilize for resource, and to carry out tactics to achieve their advocacy mission. This is likely related to the semi-democratic political system in Hong Kong where avenues of societal input into policy change are obstructed systematically. Societal input, concerning social welfare and redistributive policies, are culturally and politically not welcomed by the mainstream. Under this circumstance, resource mobilization theory is found to be most relevant in explaining how the organizations position themselves: while they join in the bandwagon of women issues, each has found a niche where they can find an adequate resource mix for their survival. Despite their innovation, resourcefulness, and embeddedness in networks, these organizations are still largely restricted in their advocacy work. The cases show the importance of infrastructure, both in terms of engagement channels into the policy process, and evaluation tools to credit these organizations with legitimacy to carry out advocacy work. Without these foundations, the political system will not be able to benefit from the full potential in performing their political function. This research contributes originally produced empirical evidence on the actual operation of nonprofit organizations that combines policy advocacy and social services. The framework constructed for this thesis is a theoretical contribution to conceptualizing and analyzing organizational strategy to create public value. It also facilitates future comparative study on nonprofit organizations which combines advocacy work and services, as it allows for analyses to infer the mechanisms through which organization’s strategies relate to the social and political structure and their implications on civil society.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshNonprofit organizations - China - Hong Kong - Management-
dc.titleThe management strategies of advocacy-oriented social service nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5558995-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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