Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector
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Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector

Passion, Purpose and Professionalism

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.
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Chapter 2: HRM in the voluntary sector

Ian Cunningham


The UK voluntary sector workforce has grown considerably as a direct consequence of the outsourcing of public services to non-profit organizations since the early 1990s. Human resource management (HRM) has become an increasing area of academic attention in recent years. Studies have focused on the impact of interorganizational relations on employment; the sustaining and management of employee commitment, pay and conditions, unionization and HR policies and procedures (Cunningham, 2008; Parry and Kelliher, 2009; Alatrista and Arrowsmith, 2004). More recently, the impact of self-directed care or personalization has been identified as having potentially profound implications for HR in non-profit organizations. In the latter case, this emerging interest is not only due to the implications personalization has for public service delivery, but it has wider resonance in debates concerning the impact of new actors (in this case service users) in shaping employment relationships in organizations beyond the traditional employer–employee dichotomy. Moreover, managing HR in the sector is facing considerable challenges in the current era of austerity as central and local government cut back on funding to public services. This chapter presents an overview of current research examining challenges to HR professionals in voluntary organizations in the era of outsourcing, public service austerity and the move to more personalized services.

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