Internal Governance of Interest Organizations: The Role of Boards of Directors in Advocacy Performance

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Studies explaining interest organizations' influence typically focus on the role of groups' structural characteristics, such as group type. However, we ask whether the boards of interest groups can also play a role in their organizations' advocacy performance. Drawing from management scholarship, we investigate how the governance practices and characteristics of the boards of interest organizations are associated with those organizations' advocacy performance. To study this, we surveyed the board members of Finnish elite interest organizations and found that board performance in strategy tasks (e.g., long-term planning and connecting with stakeholders) is strongly related to advocacy performance. Moreover, we found that the gender diversity of boards is negatively associated with success in advocacy, and the frequency of board meetings is curvilinearly associated. In contrast, board performance in control tasks (e.g., monitoring of management), board size, and inclusive practices are not associated with advocacy performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number08997640221091529
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)474-492
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • advocacy
  • interest organizations
  • organizational governance
  • performance
  • 5171 Political Science
  • 518 Media and communications

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