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 10: Organizational change in nonprofit organizations: implications for human resource management

Thomas Packard

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


Walter Philips, the CEO of San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), a highly regarded and highly successful human services organization in San Diego County in California, had led ongoing growth and innovation in the agency for over ten years, and recently concluded that the agency was facing new major challenges to which it would need to respond. The agency has been a major provider of comprehensive services at 14 locations for homeless, abused and at-risk youth and their families and communities, serving over 10 000 youth and their families per year with a budget of over $12 million and 197 staff. In spite of the agency’s 40-plus years of outstanding service provision, challenges in the agency’s environment required large-scale changes in the agency’s operations. Under Walter Philips’s leadership, the agency launched a formal organizational change process to streamline management and decrease administrative costs, clarify the management structure and philosophy with respect to management of budgets and staff, and consolidate programs under divisions to increase integration and accountability. The agency’s use of tactics of planned organizational change as discussed in this chapter enabled the agency to successfully create a new organizational structure, new job descriptions, a new system of team meetings, and new fiscal reports and procedures while maintaining high staff morale and continuity of service delivery. The challenges that SDYS was facing are common in nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Needs and demands for organizational change, coming from the organization’s environment, staff, clients and often from its own leaders, are so widespread as to be considered constants.

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