Macro and Micro Theories: Non-Profit Organizations
How can an understanding of theories such as these – both at sector and organisational level – be useful to practitioners working in (and with) nonprofit organisations?
There are several macro and micro theories associated with the structure, role and functioning of non-profit organizations. It is important to understand such theories as it forms the basis of doing things when one actually manages a non-profit organization. The theoretical foundations also helps in understanding the need of such organizations and what is the purpose of their existence making the efforts of management and administration moving in the direction of achieving the goals of a non-profit existence (Anheier, 2010). Furthermore, theories helps to gain understanding of reasons behind the recent decades of non-profit management revolution where competition is introduced resulting from changes in funding patterns, the growth of the sector, and increasing demands of accountability (Nobel and Secino, 2013 and Wilskey and Young, 2010).
This can be understood by considering the macro theories of non-profit organizations like the failure theory, and non-profits as gap fillers where these organizations are considered as doing what others failed to do or have left as a gap in the market (Worth, 2016). However, there are other theories like supply-side theories and theories of Altruism and giving, explaining non-profits and the theory of commons that presents and interdisciplinary approach while making it clear that non-profits have a complete different structure, vision, values and aim and not limited to being a gap filler (Worth, 2016). Such theories provide us with new concepts and vocabulary to understand the changes in this particular sector and the proper nature of goods and services where the central issue is differing political views and affiliations (Worth, 2016).
Further, certain micro theories that provides an insight into the internal structure and functioning of non-profit organizations. These theories help practitioners to manage the culture and working style while being in a non-profit (Anheier, 2010). These theories provides understanding of the way
Non-profits are self-governed, the reason why they do not distribute any excess revenues over expenditure but reinvest in the organization and the ways through which public benefit is to be maintained and focused as common characteristics of non-profit organizations (Worth, 2016).
Such knowledge makes it possible for practitioners to learn ways of managing the pressures and constraints presented by open environment and responding to the issues arising due to open system nature of non-profit organizations (Wilsker and Young, 2010). These theories act as the guide to convert and apply the knowledge by practitioners while working within non-profit organizations and solving some of the big issues by looking back at the history of theoretical underpinnings.