Nonprofit Governance and the Power of Things

Vol. 15 No. 3: October 2015

Journal: Nonprofit Quarterly August, 2015

Author: Fredrik Andersson and Avery Edenfield

“In order to dismantle and examine power relations inside and outside the boardroom - in other words, to open the black box of governance politicking, power struggles, and actual board behaviour and decision making - we may need to go beyond the established frameworks and images and begin to pull in alternative views and ideas to better comprehend questions such as who really governs. One such alternate perspective is the concept of the dominant coalition, which we reintroduce here as an entry point into the question.”
This scholarly article provides:
• A discussion of the dominant coalition approach to nonprofit governance.
• A definition of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as it relates to nonprofit governance.
• An assessment of a critical governance incident- the firing of a founder- from a “conventional” nonprofit governance perspective, a dominant coalition perspective, and an ANT perspective.

“A key purpose of this article has been to show how alternative perspectives, in addition to what we labeled the “conventional” perspective, can help illuminate and open up the way we approach and understand nonprofit governance.”

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