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Reward systems in nonprofit organisations – an assessment of employee motivations in the homelessness sector in England

Mendes de Brito Antunes, Bethania (2012) Reward systems in nonprofit organisations – an assessment of employee motivations in the homelessness sector in England. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Government reforms have led nonprofit organisations (NPOs) to become more involved in the provision of mainstream public services in the UK and consequently they have been subject to an increasingly demanding regime of performance measurement and inspection if they wish to provide services on behalf of the state. The creation of a contract culture has put nonprofit providers in a position where they have to bid against each other to deliver pre-determined services, resulting in a very competitive operating environment. NPOs have become more professionalised and performance-driven and this new climate encourages a business-like attitude to the management of their services. Pay-for-performance schemes have become a recognised phenomenon in NPOs, despite having generated controversial discussion in the literature. The literature on incentive theories has been applied almost exclusively to private sector organisations and limited attention has been devoted to the nonprofit sector. It is argued here that one cannot simply transfer across for-profit sector ideas; one must try to establish a framework that is more suited to the logic of the NPO. The aim of this thesis is twofold. First, it investigates the use of performance-related pay (PRP) in nonprofit housing associations in England and looks at whether PRP acts as a motivator encouraging nonprofit employees to improve their work performance. Second, it inquires whether the new competitive and performance-driven environment influences the reward decisions of NPOs. This thesis examines influences on the choice of reward practices in housing associations in order to provide an alternative to agency explanations for the use of PRP in the nonprofit sector. The results not only point to the ineffectiveness of PRP schemes in housing associations but also identify the strength of institutional pressures on NPOs to conform with best practice in pay decisions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Bethania Mendes de Brito Antunes
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Marsden, David

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