Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector

Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector

Passion, Purpose and Professionalism

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

This impressive book assembles the latest research findings and thinking on the management of voluntary/nonprofit sector organizations and the effective utilization of both paid staff and volunteers. The authors expertly look into the challenges faced by this sector and the growing role that it plays in society. They review HRM in the voluntary sector and discuss the challenges of bringing about best practices, as well as suggesting how to improve leadership of voluntary/nonprofit organizations.

Chapter 1: Human resource management in the nonprofit sector: setting the stage

Ronald J. Burke

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, public management, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy


There has been considerable writing on the critical role human resource management plays in the performance of private sector organizations (e.g. Burke & Cooper, 2006; Becker, Huselid & Beatty, 2005; Lawler, 2003; Lawler & Worley, 2006; Pfeffer, 1998; Sisodia, Wolfe & Sheth, 2007; Ulrich & Smallwood, 2003; Katzenbach, 2000), with less attention devoted to the public sector (see Burke, Noblet & Cooper, 2012), the small business sector (Cooper & Burke, 2011), the health care sector (Spurgeon, Burke & Cooper, 2012) and the nonprofit sector. This volume addresses this gap by considering human resource management in the nonprofit sector. In the 1980s, governments began to downsize and download services and responsibilities to the private and nonprofit sectors. At the same time, more individual citizens have come to rely on these products and services. These factors increased competition among nonprofits for funding support, supported the use of human resource management practices from the private sector into the nonprofit sector, as well as increasing pressures on nonprofits to be accountable and demonstrate their value (Alexander, Brudney & Yang, 2010).

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