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Online Bookshelf

Investing in Capacity Building: A Guide to High-Impact Approaches

by Barbara Blumenthal

What follows are slightly abridged versions of chapters 1 and 2. For a complete listing of chapters in the print edition, see Contents.


The Need for Capacity Building

The quality of nonprofit management is a widespread and growing concern among the philanthropic community. According to Lester Salamon, "In addition to the fiscal and economic challenges confronting the nonprofit sector at the present time is a third challenge, a veritable crisis of effectiveness. Because they do not meet a ‘market test,’ nonprofits are always vulnerable to charges of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. However, the scope and severity of these charges have grown massively in recent years."1

This concern has led grantmakers to invest substantial sums in nonprofit efforts to build management capacity. Technical assistance grants pay for outside consulting, while general operating support and management development grants can fund internal management costs. In addition, grantmakers have supported the development of a growing community of management support organizations (MSOs) around the country that provide management support to local nonprofits.

These investments in capacity building have shown a marked increase in recent years, not only in absolute dollars, but as a percentage of total grant dollars. According to information reported to the Foundation Center, from 1997 to 2001, a period when total grants grew steadily, technical assistance grants increased from $62 million to $218 million and from 0.8 percent to 1.3 percent of total grant dollars. Similarly, management development grants increased from $60 million to $260 million, and from 0.8 percent to 1.6 percent of all grant dollars. In addition, general operating support increased steadily during this period, reaching 13.6 percent of total grant dollars in 2001.2

For some grantmakers, capacity building is simply a new name for what they have been doing for years through technical assistance grants and support for MSOs. For others, capacity building means stepping back from such practices, and making a concerted effort to learn about the impact of prior work, compare approaches, and make adjustments. There seems to be a growing recognition that nonprofit improvement is difficult, and that grantmakers need not only to understand the challenges but to learn from each other. This interest in learning led to the formation of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), an affinity group of the Council on Foundations. Founded in 1988, GEO consisted of 360 organizational members in 2003. The purpose of GEO is described in its bylaws:

. . . to promote learning and dialogue about the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations among funders, about the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations working to build a more just and sustainable society. The organization does this by exploring the wide range of strategies for accomplishing organization-building; and the constructive and catalytic roles funders can play in encouraging and supporting organizational effectiveness among nonprofits. GEO seeks to support grantmaking nonprofit organizations in increasing their effectiveness, to strengthen the overall practice of organizational effectiveness grantmaking, and to increase attention to organizational effectiveness within the broader foundation and nonprofit communities.

Today, there is much at stake as the interest in helping nonprofit effectiveness has outpaced the field’s knowledge of what does and does not work. Despite the growing interest, there are lingering questions about the impact of investments in capacity building. Studies show that results are mixed, and some grantmakers are disappointed in their results, as grantees remain unstable despite years of investments.

It is tempting to attribute the lack of real improvement to the fact that organization change is difficult, and has an inherently low rate of success. Perhaps grantmakers have undertaken this work with unrealistically high expectations. Barbara Kibbe cautions that, "We could easily have a chilling effect on what is a constructive, holistic approach to supporting organizations as well as programs if we set unrealistic expectations by seeming to imply that modest efforts at capacity building should have impacts far beyond their depth or intensity."3

It is also tempting to blame external conditions that explain why, despite successful assistance, an organization floundered. In other words, the treatment was effective, but the patient died anyway. A competing explanation, one that should not be ignored, is that some capacity building programs have simply not been very effective. Leaders of GEO express concern that weak results from poorly designed or implemented programs will cast doubt on the value of such investments.

Rather than accepting a modest impact, the field needs to understand the reasons for lack of improvement and develop better approaches. Grantmakers can design more effective approaches and consultants can provide more effective assistance. While additional funding will improve impact for some, for others more effective programs and consulting can be achieved within the same budget. High-quality capacity building programs are within the reach of all grantmakers, at varying levels of investments.

What is Capacity Building?

Capacity building is defined as actions that improve nonprofit effectiveness. Nonprofit managers are responsible for building capacity, although they may get assistance from consultants or others. Grantmakers get involved by developing capacity building programs that provide resources to support nonprofits as they work to improve their effectiveness. Capacity building programs are often designed with a specific type of grantee in mind, a particular set of issues to address, or a goal of improving one area of nonprofit performance. Others are more loosely constructed and offer support to any type of nonprofit to address whatever issues will improve performance.

A sponsor designs and delivers a capacity building program but does not necessarily fund it. Capacity building programs can be sponsored and funded by a single grantmaker, such as the Organization Effectiveness Grants made by the Packard Foundation. Programs can also be sponsored by an independent consultant, consulting firm, or management support organization, who also solicit funding for the program.

Management support organizations (MSOs) are nonprofits, often supported by a large number of funders, who assist other nonprofits to improve their effectiveness. They provide a range of services from reference materials, training, or opportunities for networking to on-site consulting. Many MSOs provide regional support to nonprofits, such as CompassPoint in San Francisco, Community Resource Exchange (CRE) in New York City, and the Support Center for Nonprofit Management in New York City. Other MSOs, such as National Arts Strategies and the Environmental Support Center, generally confine their assistance to one program area and support nonprofits across the country.

Capacity building support can address management practices, provide financial resources, or both. For some nonprofits, additional resources are all that is needed to become more effective. While many nonprofits seem to suffer from "poor management"—tasks not getting done, poor planning or poor communication—the cause may be lack of staff, equipment, or even office space. An effective capacity building intervention may be as simple as funding an assistant director position or providing additional overhead funds. Grantmakers can provide extra resources in a variety of ways: providing loans, grants for capital projects, funds for administrative staff, or funds for technology.

While additional resources can be valuable, or even critical, to a nonprofit’s effectiveness, they are not particularly difficult to implement. If a nonprofit needs an assistant director, providing funds for the position solves the problem (at least until this funding runs out). A far greater challenge comes from trying to improve a grantee’s management practices. This type of capacity building relies heavily on outside consultants who can help in a variety of ways, such as building the staff’s knowledge and capabilities in specific management areas, helping design systems and procedures, improving decision processes, facilitating discussions, coaching leaders, and resolving conflicts.

Capacity building programs that seek to improve nonprofit performance by improving management practices are widespread, but they present very difficult challenges. For nonprofit leaders, organization change can prove a daunting undertaking, even for highly skilled leaders. For consultants, the challenge is to bring their expertise to bear on issues that have to be solved by others. And for grantmakers, the challenge is to entice grantees to undertake capacity building work, which is only successful if grantees are motivated. Overall, improving management practices can be quite a challenge for all involved.

In general, having a goal of management improvement is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of organizational strength. All organizations, commercial as well as nonprofit, need to make adjustments to their structures and systems, acquire new skills and capabilities, and adjust their strategies in order to be effective. Excellent organizations constantly seek to improve program implementation, develop new resources or address unmet needs in the community.

At the same time, it should not be surprising that the nonprofit world includes many organizations that lack important management capabilities, largely because some nonprofit leaders come into these positions without much experience or training in management. A lack of management experience is not a fatal shortcoming, however, as there are far more important skills and talents that nonprofit leaders bring to their organizations: expertise in a program area, knowledge of the community, respect of community leaders, access to a network of resources, strong interpersonal and negotiation skills, a compelling vision, and the ability to persuade others to join in their effort. Management skills and capabilities can be learned, particularly if capacity building support is available.

Defining Nonprofit Effectiveness

The goal of capacity building is to help nonprofits become more effective, but there are different views about what constitutes an effective nonprofit. For some, effectiveness is viewed as a set of organization capabilities, practices, and behaviors. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation describes its view of effectiveness this way:

Organizational effectiveness is difficult to define precisely and impossible to reduce to a set of attributes or activities. It is a rich blend of strong management and sound governance that enables an organization to move steadily toward its goals, to adapt to change, and to innovate. The pursuit of organizational effectiveness means continuous learning and improvement in the management of resources and the coordination and leadership of people. It assumes clarity of vision and alignment of goals and activities with that vision. It embraces the importance of defining hoped-for outcomes and the need to measure progress toward achieving those outcomes. And, it implies periodic reflection and critical self-assessment to reevaluate the organization’s role in the context of an increasingly complex and ever-changing society.4

GEO has developed a working definition of organizational effectiveness: the ability of an organization to fulfill its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and a persistent rededication to achieving results. This definition focuses on fulfilling mission as an outcome and a set of capabilities to achieve it, although the capabilities are a bit vague ("sound management," "strong governance").

Here, improved effectiveness is defined in terms of organization performance, not as a set of management capabilities or practices. Thus, an organization is not more effective because it has a strategic plan; it is only more effective if the planning process leads to specific outcomes such as better program outcomes, expanded programs, or a more stable organization. Similarly, a board is not more effective just because it has a higher attendance rate at meetings. A board is more effective if the organization’s performance improves as a result of the board’s actions.

There is also considerable debate over how to assess nonprofit performance. For this analysis, four aspects of performance are defined. Acknowledging that capacity building programs may be designed with very different goals in mind, "improved performance" may describe improvements in one or more of the following aspects of performance.

Organization stability. At the very least, an effective organization must consistently deliver its programs and services and survive over the longer run. Delivery requires management systems to attract and retain staff and organize the work. A stable organization is able to adapt to changes in funding or community needs. It also attracts sufficient resources, both financial and volunteer, to continue to operate. If financial support for the organization’s mission has declined, the organization must be able to adjust the level of programs and services accordingly. The most basic measure of organization stability is whether an organization survives, and whether programs and services have consistently been delivered.

Financial stability. Financial stability protects organizations from going out of business due to unexpected short-term events. Financial stability refers to short-term survival, while organizational stability is concerned with attracting resources for long-term survival. Organizations can be considered financially stable if they have sufficient working capital to meet normal fluctuations in cash flow and sufficient reserves to meet capital needs, such as building maintenance and replacement. One measure of financial stability is working capital as a percentage of the total budget. Capacity building work often ignores this area of performance.

Program quality. The consistent delivery of programs and services does not guarantee that programs will be of high quality. Particularly for social services, quality can only be determined by assessing a program’s long-term impact. But very few programs have such information, so surrogate indicators of program quality are needed, such as whether: 1) a program design is based on research about effective programs; 2) a system for outcome measurement is in place that provides management with short- and intermediate-term measures of performance; 3) management uses such data to make improvements to program implementation and design. An organization using all three management practices is much more likely to have high-quality programs. Here again, program quality is a neglected goal of much capacity work.

There is also a connection between organization stability and program quality, as it is unlikely that a program will have a long-term impact unless it has been consistently implemented for three years or longer. Thus, a stable organization is a prerequisite to high-quality programs.

Organization growth. Attracting additional resources and providing more programs and services can be an indicator of an effective organization. Too often, however, organizations suffer from unhealthy growth that leaves them financially unstable and hurts program quality. Growth alone, then, is not a useful indicator without taking into account financial stability and program quality. At the same time, an organization need not grow to be considered effective. Both stable and growing organizations can be considered effective, whereas decline may indicate ineffective performance.

Research Background

Much of the data and conclusions presented here are derived from two sources of information: 1) an analysis of existing research on capacity building and related topics, and 2) interviews with experienced capacity builders. The author’s review of research included over 100 articles on organization effectiveness and organization change, many from the field of Organization Development. In addition, more than thirty evaluations of capacity building were reviewed. Evaluations provide important information about programs, challenges, and outcomes. Many programs report that change is disappointing based on short-term evidence, and describe plans to improve impact. From this analysis, the author developed preliminary hypotheses about factors that influence capacity building impact, and incorporated them into interviews with capacity builders about their experiences.

Interviews with Capacity Builders

The second source of information for this analysis is interviews and background discussions with more than a hundred individuals experienced in capacity building work—primarily foundation staff, intermediaries who design programs, and consultants who provide assistance to nonprofits. An initial round of interviews, conducted from October 1999 through December 2000, provided an important "view from the field" that helped shape the rest of the research and the structure of this book. Additional interviews were conducted between mid-2001 and January 2003.

In general, questions were asked about the details of program implementation, program effectiveness, evaluation methods, lessons learned, program improvements, and continuing challenges. Experienced capacity builders were asked about their successes and failures—grantees that achieved significant improvement, and those that failed to make progress. A variety of possible explanations were examined: the impact of external conditions, grantee conditions and capabilities, actions of the consultant, actions of the sponsor, and consulting skills and experience.

Thirty capacity building programs were studied in greater depth, many with long histories and approaches that have evolved over time. From these programs, a typology was developed of three general approaches to capacity building, designated as Capacity Grants, Development Partners, and Structured Programs. Nine programs were selected to illustrate these general approaches.

The initial round of interviews revealed strong views about what works, and significant disagreement among experienced capacity builders about program design and impact.

  • Some sponsors designed alternative approaches because they view popular approaches as largely ineffective. These sponsors are skeptical of the claims offered by some grantmakers about their impact with grantees. Either evidence from these programs has not been offered, or they find it unconvincing.
  • Many considered the quality of consulting to be uneven, and responsible for poor results.
  • Some believe that the consulting approach has a strong impact on client progress, apart from the consultant’s skills and knowledge. Several sponsors were using a consulting approach that they believe differs from traditional consulting and is more effective.
  • Interviews also revealed two opposing views of organization change: that change is a simple process, and that change is complex. This perspective on change influenced not only the design of capacity building programs, but views about effective consulting.

Through these interviews, it became clear that to understand a capacity building program, it is most important to uncover the assumptions and beliefs about organization change, organization effectiveness, and consulting effectiveness that underlie the design and implementation of any program. The next section lays the groundwork for this by summarizing relevant research on characteristics of effective organizations, the dynamics of organization change and improvement, and research on consulting.

Research on Nonprofit Effectiveness and Improvement

To truly understand an organization, try to change it. —Kurt Lewin

Capacity building presumes that someone—grantmaker, consultant, or nonprofit leader—has a point of view about how to improve a nonprofit’s performance. But what is the basis for this view? It seems that much capacity building assistance is based largely on common-sense notions about good management, popular management books, and assessment tools. Proponents of capacity building recognize this gap in knowledge and have called for additional research. While research specifically on the special management challenges of nonprofits is certainly needed, more than fifty years of research and thousands of empirical studies about organization effectiveness and organization change already exist. This section reviews research on two questions central to capacity building.

  1. What management practices are common to high-performing organizations?
  2. How do organizations improve performance?

It is important for grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, and consultants to understand the strengths and limitations of different types of research so that they can interpret and make use of findings. Thus it may be useful to first discuss what organization research is and how it is carried out.

Organization Research: A Brief Primer

Theories about organizations are tested using either quantitative or qualitative techniques. Quantitative research evaluates data from a large sample of organizations, focuses on a limited number of organization characteristics, and tests whether a particular characteristic (such as the extent of centralization) is related to other factors. Quantitative research is particularly useful for testing which characteristics are associated with organization performance. A strong sample should include both high-performing and low-performing organizations, based on an independent measure of performance or multiple measures of performance. Many management practices are not found to be "significant" predictors of organization success because they are present in both high- and low-performing organizations. For example, if both high- and low-performing organizations have strategic plans, then plans per se will not be a distinguishing characteristic of high-performing organizations.

Researchers are careful not to overstate findings because, even if statistically significant, associations between organizational practices and performance are usually far from perfect. Organizations that exhibit important characteristics do not always demonstrate high performance, and some that deviate greatly from these characteristics attain high levels of performance. While empirical studies provide support that some practices are likely to produce better results, they also remind us that there are many paths to successful performance.

In applying findings from empirical research, practitioners should also be aware that just because a particular practice is associated with higher performance does not mean that it caused the improvement. For example, it has always been unclear whether organizations with strong balance sheets spend more on staff training because they can afford to do so, or whether spending additional money on training brings about higher performance. There are relatively few empirical studies that can test for causality. Only studies that include longitudinal data—a snapshot of organization capabilities taken at more than one point in time—can test for a causal relationship.

Most quantitative studies show an association but do not explain how or why a particular factor impacts performance. To be useful to managers, findings should be explained by a well-developed theory or by qualitative, field-based research. Single case studies are most common, but often generate few insights. A study that compares several organizations is better able to highlight factors that can be overlooked with a single case. Would the actions taken by managers be equally effective if the organization had different leadership, strategy, or culture? Would an untried tactic have been even more effective?

The combination of large sample empirical studies and rigorously designed comparative case studies, of both high- and low-performing organizations, provides a solid foundation to draw conclusions about what works. While well-designed empirical research reveals important insights about high performance, less rigorous research is all too common and often misleading. As a result, Karl Weick, a leading organization scholar, observes that "learning is superstitious and misleading, and what appears to be knowledge creation in fact becomes the enlargement of ignorance."1

For example, some studies describe the management practices of high-performing organizations based only on a sample of high performers. Many popular books on management are based on such "research." The most famous example is In Search of Excellence, a best seller in the mid-1980s written by two very experienced management consultants. They identified a number of factors that were common across a sample of excellent organizations, and held them up as "best practices" to be imitated. The excellent companies, however, did not fare very well after the publication of the book. A follow-up study by academics showed that this sample of firms in fact performed less well than the average firm in the Standard & Poors 500.

Hundreds of empirical studies have examined the relationship between organization characteristics and performance. Characteristics commonly used in research include: Environment; Mission, Goals, and Strategy; Strategic Planning; Decision Process and Communication; Culture; Control Systems; Structure; Leadership; Human Resource Management; Performance Measurement; and Board of Directors. Research tries to capture important dimensions of each characteristic, such as whether the environment is stable or turbulent; structure is centralized or decentralized; and reward systems are tied to performance. From this body of research, a few central conclusions are important for capacity building.

Internal consistency is important. A common finding is that consistency between components of an organization leads to higher performance. For example, a decentralized structure within which frontline staff make decisions is more effective if supported by recruitment and training. Similarly, a fundraising strategy that calls for expanding the pool of individual donors will depend on how actively the board is involved in fundraising. Many studies show that the consistency, or fit, between components is more important than the choice of any particular component.

The implication for capacity building is that change should be holistic, rather than piecemeal, as any major issue facing the organization may require changes in a number of areas. For example, to improve the financial management of a nonprofit requires more than a new computer system and staff training on how to use it. The senior staff and board should incorporate financial information into their decision process, and leaders must be willing to make difficult decisions based on better financial information. Financial management will not improve unless behaviors and attitudes support the use of new systems.

Culture is central to performance. A consistent finding in organization research is the importance of organization culture. "All areas of the literature: theoretical, anecdotal and empirical suggest that organizational culture is central in determining organizational outcomes, including performance."2 Organization culture refers to commonly held values, beliefs, and attitudes that shape the behavior of organization members, and is often overlooked by nonprofit managers as an explanation for high performance. There is a strong consensus among researchers that the following practices, behaviors, and attitudes are important to the effectiveness of any organization:3

Performance matters. High performance begins with the belief that nonprofits should be effective at producing outcomes and efficient in the use of resources, and that improvement efforts are worthwhile. Capacity building work often runs into trouble when staff are not enthusiastic about improving performance.

Management by fact. Staff believe that it is important to set goals, collect data, and track progress toward goals. Problem solving is based on valid data.

Open discussions. Staff is comfortable identifying problems and raising issues, even when they might prove embarrassing to the organization, particularly its leaders. Honesty and candor are highly valued. Conflict is managed, not suppressed or avoided. Efforts are made to uncover disconfirming data and contrary opinions. The use of power has a powerful impact on openness. The autocratic use of power can create risk-averse behaviors and ineffective problem solving.

Problem solving. Effective problem solving has several steps: identify problems; analyze root causes; develop solutions to address the most important causes; implement solutions; and evaluate progress. It relies heavily on the use of data to identify problems and evaluate solutions. Nonprofits that do not collect data engage in problem solving based on intuition, and are often less effective.

Learning. Learning is more proactive than problem solving, as the organization does not wait to be confronted with a problem. Organization learning requires an investment of time to evaluate failures and even to question how successful efforts could be improved. Groups that value learning set aside time to reflect on how well they are performing.

Demonstrate effectiveness. Not all nonprofit managers consider it important to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work, and believe it is enough to undertake enormously difficult and challenging work, such as fighting the causes of poverty and racism. They do "good work," but should not be held accountable for proving it. Managers who believe it is important may well be more effective because the process of asking questions about effectiveness leads to learning and improvement.

Focus on the future. Efforts to improve financial stability and organization stability are based on the belief that it is important to have sustainable organizations. While all managers face time constraints, managers choose to take time away from the demands of daily operations to focus on the future.

The choice of how to allocate current funds pits the desire to help people today against the desire to have a sustainable program or organization. An organization’s financial situation provides important evidence of management’s future orientation. Managers focused only on the present may find it acceptable to devote every available penny to delivering the current program, without putting funds aside for working capital, building maintenance, or emergency purposes.

Willingness to make tough decisions. To improve performance, nonprofit leaders may be faced with unpleasant decisions, such as reducing or closing a program, providing candid feedback to staff on job performance, or even terminating an under-performing employee. Some leaders simply do not believe that these steps should be necessary in a nonprofit organization.

There is no simple recipe for management success. Much has been learned about the role of structure, decision processes, and other characteristics —how they relate to environmental conditions, how they relate to each other, and their effect on performance. The most important conclusion about which factors are associated with high performance is that it all depends. Studies frequently show that the impact of a particular organization component is contingent on some aspect of the organization’s context—the environment, strategy, size of the organization, or type of work. For example, the most effective organization structure depends on the rate of change in the environment or the size of the organization, and may differ by industry or sector. No particular strategy, structure, or control system is correlated with high performance in every situation, across all studies, which means there are no hard and fast rules. This body of research suggests that designing and managing organizations is complex.

While research has generated a great deal of knowledge and insights about individual components of organizations and how they relate to performance, it is difficult to summarize succinctly, and beyond the scope here. To learn more about organization design, consultants and nonprofit managers can consult review articles summarizing research on a particular topic,4 or refer to a general organization theory textbook that reviews research in the field.5

There are multiple patterns of effective management. Another general conclusion from research is that there is no single best way to manage, even for similar organizations. While research identifies management practices that are ineffective in a given situation, there is often more than one pattern of effective management.

One reason that multiple patterns of effectiveness are possible is that organizations present managers with paradoxes. As managers take actions to improve effectiveness—such as introducing more rules and procedures to achieve greater coordination—they solve one organizational issue while creating new ones. For example, an increase in rules may well lead to better coordination, but can also lead to lower levels of innovation and adaptability. An alternative is to use frequent face-to-face meetings, strong cultural norms, and a common understanding of goals, but such practices require significant time of leaders and staff. Rules and procedures may well be more expedient.

Bob Quinn describes two important dimensions of organizations that present competing demands on managers: internal versus external focus; flexibility versus control. Using these two dimensions, Quinn describes the competing values framework, which highlights four different views of effectiveness.

These views of effectiveness seem to conflict:

We want our organizations to be adaptable and flexible, but we also want them to be stable and controlled. We want growth, resource acquisition, and external support, but we also want tight information management and formal communication. We want an emphasis on the value of human resources, but we also want an emphasis on planning and goal setting. The model does not suggest that these oppositions cannot mutually exist in a real system. It suggests, rather, that these criteria, values, and assumptions are oppositions in our minds. We tend to think that they are very different from one another, and we sometimes assume them to be mutually exclusive.6

An organization that neglects any one of these areas is unlikely to succeed over the longer run. Empirical research using this model shows many patterns of effective organizations, each with different strengths. While each dimension is helpful to performance, too much of any dimension can lead to "ineffective" patterns. Rather than thinking of organization design choices as "solutions" or "best practices," this research emphasizes that managers have to resolve competing pressures in order to achieve high performance.

In a comprehensive review of management research, Andrew Pettigrew reaches a similar conclusion:

Overall, a general message emerging from the literature in this chapter is that there are no universal solutions; no ‘magic bullets’. The way forward lies in customization. This is manifest in the move away from a search for a universal blueprint for leadership, a retreat from the idea of ‘optimal’ organizational structures for delivering high performance, a de-emphasis of ‘best-practice’ in organizations in favour of good alignment and ‘fit’ between different configurational parts of the organization (and indeed, between the organization and its environment).7

Implications for Nonprofit Management

As yet, relatively few empirical studies have focused on nonprofits. A number of studies have examined one aspect of management—such as the board of directors or strategic planning—and have drawn conclusions about effective practices. Much more work is needed to identify patterns of effective nonprofit management that will offer managers insights for organizations of different size, stage of development, and type of services. At this point, the best guidance for managers comes from the small body of research on nonprofits, and the much larger body of work on organizations in general.

Even without strong empirical evidence, nonprofit managers are offered advice—in books, articles, assessment tools, and from consultants —about steps to improve performance. Much of the advice focuses on formal planning processes, formal procedures, and documentation as the keys to better management. Organization research suggests that organization culture may be far more important to effective performance than this advice would suggest. Two separate research studies have found that some of the conventional wisdom is, in fact, not helpful to improving performance.

Thomas Holland has conducted considerable research on nonprofit boards, and describes the origin of advice on managing boards:

On closer inspection, however, it is apparent that most of this literature is based almost entirely upon individual experience and opinion, tends to be exhortative rather than empirical, is more anecdotal than systematic, and provides a limited basis for understanding the problems or improving the practices of governance. The advice of a few observers of boards tends to stress idealized, even romanticized, versions of what boards should be (for example, Carver, 1990), while others include important details about budgets, planning, or other functions, but offer little help on how the board can assess its performance or take purposive action to become more effective as a group.8

Holland developed an instrument for assessing board effectiveness and tested whether the questions were useful in discriminating between boards with high and low performance. After considerable effort and revisions, he developed a set of questions that are associated with performance. Other than Holland’s Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire (BSAQ) instrument for assessing board effectiveness, few self-assessment tools have been validated in this manner.9 With other assessment tools, managers should note that there is often no empirical evidence that the factors selected (which are often very prescriptive) will lead to higher performance.

Another study demonstrated that for a cross section of health and welfare organizations, the conventional wisdom about "correct practices" does not relate to performance. A group of nonprofit practitioners (executives, technical assistance providers, and funders) were asked to identify the criteria they actually use in evaluating the performance of nonprofit organizations.10 The initial list was reduced to eleven "objective" indicators of effectiveness, which reflect the general view about good management practices in the field.

  • Mission statement
  • Use of form or instrument to measure client satisfaction
  • Planning document
  • List of calendar of board development activities
  • Description of or form used in CEO performance appraisal
  • Description of or form used in other employees’ performance appraisal
  • Report on most recent needs assessment
  • By-laws containing a statement of purpose
  • Independent financial audit
  • Statement of organizational effectiveness criteria, goals, or objectives
  • Board manual

In a sample of 64 nonprofits, the study found that "correct procedures" are not related to organization effectiveness. It seems that indicators commonly considered important by nonprofit practitioners are not robust. If there are factors that predict organization effectiveness, they are missing from the list.

Culture may help to explain why functional capabilities viewed by many as important are not linked to performance. Holland’s research reached the same conclusion, as he found that board practices and behaviors were key to understanding board effectiveness, rather than formal procedures and systems. Strategic planning provides a useful example of the importance of practices and behaviors. Research has found that whether a nonprofit has engaged in strategic planning is often not correlated with performance.11 A possible explanation is that organizations develop plans that are not of high quality, or are never implemented.

Rather than simply encouraging nonprofit managers to undertake strategic planning, it might be more useful to focus on the factors that make a strategic planning process effective: Did the organization candidly assess its own program outcomes? Do organization managers and staff ask whether the programs are effective and how they might be improved? Do managers and staff learn from research on program impact and model programs that have demonstrated long-term impact? Are organization leaders actively assessing external trends related to the program? Is feedback from clients solicited?

Similarly, the key to useful strategies and adaptability is not the yearly (or twice a decade) planning process, but whether the organization thinks and acts strategically on a daily basis. Do staff seek out model programs? Collect and use data about program impact? Constantly question what factors are critical to impact and how to increase those factors? Question whether limited resources are being used most productively? Such "strategic behaviors" may be better indicators of effectiveness than simply asking about "management artifacts" such as strategic plans.

Improving Organization Performance

Knowledge about effective management practices is not easy to put into practice. To improve performance, organization leaders begin with an image of how the organization should function—which structures, decision processes, systems, or cultural norms will make the organization more effective. But even with a clear idea of what to change, leaders often find that building new capabilities is a daunting challenge.

Researchers have long recognized that it is easier to describe a high performing organization than to create one. After extensive research on effective organization structures, Nohria and Ghoshal caution managers that putting these important findings into practice promises to be difficult:

None of the foregoing analysis should be interpreted to imply that adopting the optimal organization form for a company is a simple or seamless process. . . . Managers must possess a profound understanding of the business environment in which they are operating to decide which organization form is most appropriate for addressing the challenges of the particular environment. Even if a manager successfully identifies the ideal type of structure the firm needs, achieving the institutional change necessary to implement it presents an additional obstacle. Selecting the appropriate structure is not an easy task; learning to manage it may be just as difficult.12

Research on organization change has generated important insights for both managers and consultants. Five conclusions are particularly relevant to the work of building the capacity of nonprofits: 1) underlying issues must be recognized; 2) the difficulty of change needs to be understood; 3) client readiness should be evaluated; 4) the change process should be managed; and 5) active leadership is crucial.

1. Underlying Issues Must Be Recognized

When nonprofit leaders seek help, the issue that they identify to the consultant (the presenting issue) is often a symptom of deeper, underlying issues. Projects that fail to address important underlying issues either never get off the ground, or don’t improve performance.

Common presenting issues include fundraising, strategic planning, information systems, personnel policies, or supervisor training. Yet consultants often discover other problems—the mission is unclear, the board is not engaged, leaders avoid discussing external threats or assessing program impact. Some issues become obvious to the consultant, but are embarrassing and threatening to nonprofit leaders. Leaders may not want to bring up political conflicts, ineffective management skills or style, or poor interpersonal relationships among the leaders. Even if raised by the consultant, leaders may be unwilling to address such issues.

Improvements often fail because of underlying political and cultural conflicts. Organization leaders and consultants can be more effective if they anticipate political and cultural issues and learn how to manage resistance.

Political conflicts. If a power struggle is already present, an improvement project can easily become a lightning rod for the conflict. In other situations, the improvement effort itself triggers political conflicts. In either case, political issues need to be resolved before improvement work can begin.

Political conflict can transform a "rational" intervention like strategic planning into a useless exercise. One nonprofit engaged in a lengthy (and expensive) strategic planning process that did not resolve conflicting views or lead to program changes. The disagreement between two senior leaders was less about strategic direction than who had greater power and influence. Power struggles cannot be addressed by planning, hence this strategic planning exercise was doomed before it got started.

External power relationships also impact performance. Many nonprofit organizations are at the center of a diverse community of grassroots volunteers, clients, staff, board members, and grantmakers who bring to bear different skills, interests, and perspectives on issues of common interest. Not only are there differences of opinion on important issues, but many of these diverse groups bring differing types of power to the relationship. Volunteers can withdraw their labor if they don’t like the nonprofit’s direction or policies; supporters can withhold contributions. While political conflicts occur in all organizations, the diffused nature of power may make nonprofit actors less willing to defer to central authority and more willing to assert their positions. Any disaffected group—community members, advocacy groups, and even staff—can appeal to board members, grantmakers, political figures, and even the press to influence decisions.

Political resistance can, and often does, thwart changes intended to improve performance. At a private boarding school, for example, a headmaster was named to improve the academic standing of the school. When he tried to hire new teachers in the weakest department and force the early retirement of several longtime faculty, there was an outpouring of resistance from other faculty, parents, and alumni directed at members of the board of trustees. An important cultural value of the school—personal relationships and loyalty—was at the heart of the resistance, and turned out to be more important than academic excellence. In trying to change the culture of the school, the headmaster had not counted on the power of the faculty and alumni to stop specific changes. Eventually, he was replaced.

An improvement project can result in a shift of power that enhances the organization’s effectiveness, but the process is rarely smooth. In one national nonprofit, leaders of a local chapter refused to implement a rather benign technical improvement to the accounting system. At the heart of the dispute was an effort by field units to increase their influence over headquarters strategy. The organization reassessed the respective roles and authority of the headquarters and field units and decided on a new relationship that provided adequate central coordination while encouraging local initiative.

Cultural change. Improvement programs often call for the introduction of new practices and behaviors throughout the organization. New practices may conflict with existing values, beliefs and attitudes in the organization, resulting in anything from lukewarm enthusiasm to outright hostility. Managers and staff may be uncomfortable comparing their program to others and questioning how it could be better; setting measurable goals, tracking progress, and using data to make decisions; or thinking about the long-term implications of decisions and developing multiyear financial plans.

Research on large-scale change programs undertaken in the private sector, such as total quality management and reengineering, not only document that such programs often fail, but cite culture as a major reason. A survey conducted by CSC Index, the consulting firm that introduced the reengineering concept, found that 69 percent of the firms surveyed in the U.S. and 75 percent of the European firms had engaged in at least one reengineering project.13 Yet, 85 percent of those firms found little or no gain from the change program. The authors concluded that failed programs were treated as a technique or change program, while successful programs integrated reengineering with an overall program that addressed the organization’s direction, values, and culture.

Other studies confirm that long-term change and performance improvement depend on cultural change. According to organization scholars Cameron and Quinn, "Although tools and techniques may be present and the change strategy implemented with vigor, many efforts to improve organization performance fail because the fundamental culture of the organization remains the same; i.e., the values, the ways of thinking, the managerial styles, the paradigms and approaches to problem solving."14 They go on to explain why culture is so critical:

This dependence of organizational improvement on culture change is due to the fact that when the values, orientations, definitions, and goals stay constant—even when procedures and strategies are altered—organizations return quickly to the status quo. . . . Without an alteration of the fundamental goals, values, and expectations of organizations or individuals, change remains superficial and short term in duration.

An organization’s existing culture is often implicit, and the cause of resistance may be unclear to all concerned. When faced with uncomfortable change, members will identify a number of "rational" objections that hide what is largely an emotional response. By facing and working through these conflicts, staff can often figure out how to remain true to their values while increasing performance. By ignoring cultural resistance, leaders find that planned improvements are never fully implemented, or don’t lead to improved performance.

Capacity building is based on the notion that effectiveness, efficiency, and performance improvement are important goals. In contrast, some board members, staff, and volunteers view planning, priorities, and the collection of data as "business practices" that are not to be trusted.15 Conflict often arises when leaders decide to invest in programs that have the greatest impact and eliminate less effective programs. Few issues are more gut wrenching for nonprofit staff than a decision to stop programs that benefit some or perhaps all of their clients. Less effective programs may be the only ones available to a "difficult to serve" population. One women’s shelter developed a transition program to provide job skills and education to women likely to reenter the workforce. Eligibility criteria were based on a careful study of successful participants. Some longtime members of the staff were deeply troubled that some of the neediest women thereby became ineligible, and did not agree with the new focus on effectiveness. As a result, several staff left the program.

2. The Difficulty of Change Needs to Be Understood

The overwhelming conclusion from studies of organization change is that most planned change efforts fail. More worrisome is the finding that interventions can be successful in the short term, but not produce lasting change. Thus, successful projects and satisfied consulting clients are not good indicators of capacity building success. Fortunately, not all projects are difficult, and the success rate can be quite high for simple, technical projects.

The following issues indicate a higher degree of difficulty:

Power. Involve a shift of priorities and resources; change in responsibilities and reporting.

Management style. Require a change in the way key managers (the founder, board chair, or executive director) perform their jobs.

Behaviors, practices. Require a change in the way groups of managers and staff perform their jobs; require new behaviors and/or new skills.

Culture. Challenge widely shared beliefs and assumptions.

Values. Changes are based on values that appear to conflict with other organizational values.

Difficult conditions require a more sophisticated understanding of the change process by both consultants and managers. An important question for capacity builders is whether a particular project is difficult and calls for a consultant with more sophisticated skills. Experienced consultants report, however, that cultural and political issues can be lurking below the surface even in seemingly simple technical projects.

3. Client Readiness Should Be Evaluated

A motivated client can tackle even the most difficult change conditions and succeed. Equally important, when the client lacks internal motivation, there are few techniques or interventions an outsider can use to help. According to Marvin Weisbord, a leading scholar and consultant, "I also believe we can consult only under relatively narrow circumstances: where a client leader is willing to stick his or her neck out, where there is a pressing organizational dilemma, where some people are already searching for a way out."16 Weisbord goes on to use the model of a "four-room apartment" developed by Swedish social psychologist Claes Janssen that describes how individuals deal with change.

In Contentment we like things the way they are. If somebody ‘helps’ us we may start with good-natured acceptance and soon turn our backs on the helper if pushed to do something new. We may even be thrown by the helper into denying that the offer of help is a problem. In Denial we repress feelings of anger, fear, anxiety brought on by change, pretending everything’s okay. If we become aware of and own our feelings, then we move into Confusion. In that room we admit openly that we don’t know what to do, are worried, upset, unsure. We are helpable. In Renewal we become aware of more opportunities than we can actualize. Working through that (good) dilemma puts us back in Contentment.

Janssen’s concept struck me as a useful diagnostic tool, the simple way of assessing ‘readiness.’ We can’t consult to people in Contentment or Denial. We should not even try. The best we can do is validate people’s right to be there. The room hospitable to flip charts, models, and rational problem solving is Confusion. And we might be helpful in Renewal if we’re fast enough with new ideas and can keep up with the clients.17

Readiness is a dynamic concept that begins with a willingness to seek help, engage in a joint diagnosis, and learn about underlying issues; work on issues; and persist in the face of difficult challenges. If changes are not difficult, then clients are more likely to persevere and be successful. If, however, difficult underlying issues are present, then the client’s readiness to tackle difficult issues is critical.

In assessing readiness it is important to take into account whether the client is informed and realistic about the challenges facing the organization. Many clients are motivated to improve fundraising, expand programs and services, or improve program impact, but are not well informed about underlying issues, or the work required to achieve their goals. They may be in "confusion" about how to raise more money, but in "denial" about the board’s role in fundraising. With a realistic sense of the challenges ahead, the question turns to whether organization leaders are willing to devote sufficient time and are prepared to deal with barriers to change. Painful choices may be required. Despite a strong desire to increase fundraising, leaders may be reluctant to recruit new board members, shift power from the board to staff, or challenge the founder’s autocratic management style. Clients may be motivated to seek help, but not enough to do what it takes to improve performance.

A common view of capacity builders is that comprehensive organization assessment is an effective tool to promote readiness and improvement. Some capacity builders rely on formal assessments to stimulate clients to tackle areas where they lack "correct practices." Using formal tools, consultants conduct a thorough analysis of the organization’s issues, explain their findings to the client, and offer advice on how to address the issues that emerge. In contrast, organization researchers and many experienced consultants are skeptical about the value of presenting an outsider’s diagnosis of organization issues. Instead, they believe that a diagnosis does not deal with the more important question of motivation. Weisbord concludes, "There is no direct connection between the accuracy of a diagnosis and people’s willingness to act on it."18

4. The Change Process Should Be Managed

Research shows that improvement projects undertaken in similar organizations, for similar reasons, can produce very different outcomes. The difference is the way that leaders manage the change process. Three specific actions can lead to more successful change initiatives: building support, monitoring progress, and learning.

Build Support. If change has a direct effect on large numbers of managers and staff, then it is important to take steps to build support from the outset and to reinforce that support as changes unfold. When improvement is first discussed, it is important for leaders to construct a compelling case for why the change is necessary and how performance will be affected. Building support requires much more than announcing changes and answering a few questions. In some cases it is useful for leaders to engage the organization in developing a future vision that spells out not only long-term goals but specific organization capabilities that will be required to achieve them.

Initial enthusiasm can wane, however, as change becomes personal. Resistance can develop when individuals are asked to report to a new boss or change the way they perform their job. Leaders may need to negotiate with key players, using a combination of logic, persuasion, incentives, and even the threat of sanctions.

Monitor Progress. Research reveals that the greatest challenges lie in implementation, rather than in planning change. Scholars agree that while planning provides an opportunity to build consensus, discuss and anticipate many of the challenges ahead, organization change rarely unfolds according to plan. They conclude that constant monitoring and adjustment are essential to success. Rather than following an elaborate blueprint for change, leaders define a few concrete steps to get the process moving and engage in regular assessment of progress toward goals.

Many changes are inherently difficult and take time. Building new capabilities often requires changes to everyday management practices, group behaviors, and personal management style. An executive director who has been effective at managing fifteen direct reports faces a new challenge when another layer of management is added and he/she now has to learn to manage through five senior staff. While some managers find the transition easy, others do not. Similarly, while it is easy to acknowledge that the board needs to function more effectively and play a greater role in fundraising, it may take several years to reshape the board. Developing new leadership, recruiting new board members, rotating longtime members off the board, and introducing new practices to make meetings more effective all take time and require personal learning and change from each and every board member.

Emphasize Learning. Learning new behaviors and practices requires the active involvement of organization leaders. The key is to make the connection between new behaviors and improved performance, and to point out old behaviors when they occur. Consistent feedback from managers and peers is useful because individuals do not always notice when they revert to old behaviors. One practice is allowing time for reflection so that staff can discuss whether practices are being used effectively, and whether they are working.

Researchers promote "action learning" as a powerful technique not only to change individual behaviors but to develop lasting organization capabilities and improve performance. Action learning is based on the notion that practices and behaviors are best learned when applied to solve real problems. New practices may seem straightforward in a training session, but challenges and complexities become apparent when they are applied to real issues. At first, participants are often unsuccessful and need coaching from managers or consultants to make adjustments. When new practices are effective, participants make a strong connection between practices and results, which eventually changes their underlying beliefs as well. Leaders can create opportunities for action learning by asking staff to identify an important issue and set goals for improvement.

Increasingly researchers find that learning is critical to organization success. "The process of change relies on the development and utilization of less visible organizational capabilities (particularly those concerning learning and change) called intangible assets. [They] . . . believe that an organization’s ability to learn and change is the most fundamental of its intangible assets."19

5. Active Leadership Is Crucial

Research shows that active leadership of the change process is crucial to success. Leaders play a crucial role in building a case for change, diagnosing underlying issues, and anticipating and handling resistance. Only leaders have the power to negotiate political conflicts. Cultural change will not occur without consistent support from the top. Rewards, promotions, and hiring reinforce the new culture, and are only available to those at the top. A study of nonprofit change found that change is more successful when leaders are actively involved.20

Internal leadership is crucial to change, yet nonprofit managers may have little training or experience relevant to the challenge. Outside assistance—through leadership development workshops, coaching, or on-site assistance—can be helpful to coach leaders on managing change and improve the odds of success.

The Use of Consulting to Improve Performance

Because consultants have played a major role in capacity building to date, it is useful to examine the record of consulting as a vehicle for producing lasting change. The federal government has provided extensive technical assistance as part of major policy reforms in agriculture, community development, youth development, and education, hoping to change local practice by providing expert knowledge to the front lines. Some government initiatives were subjected to extensive research on long-term impact. The history of government-sponsored technical assistance is particularly relevant to capacity building programs, in which a three-party relationship develops between local providers, consultants, and funders.

A recent review of more than fifty years of history with technical assistance strategies reveals that technical assistance often fails to achieve sought-for change. Rand conducted one of the most thorough studies of educational innovation, examining data on 293 local projects funded by four federal education programs.

The study found that while the federal programs stimulated local education agencies to undertake innovative projects, that participation did not insure successful implementation and successful implementation did not insure continuation of the project over time. . . . The Rand study deemed most of the technical assistance strategies ineffective, especially those that did not respond to the needs and motivations of teachers or the basic conditions of school districts. . .21

The Rand report describes that, "Outside experts were typically ignored because their advice was too abstract, or their awareness of local problems was inadequate. . . . In short, federally supported assistance efforts often were ineffective because they did not deal in an adaptive way with the concrete problems facing local staff."22

While the government can insist on evaluations of technical assistance programs, there is no such pressure on private sector consulting. A small band of scholars and independent consultants have raised fundamental questions about the impact of traditional consulting. Yet, private sector consulting is a profitable and growing industry with over $50 billion in revenues. Consultant Jack Phillips describes an all-too-common consulting engagement that fails to bring about any change:

When the senior staff of the firm objected to the consultants’ report, the CEO, who had hired the consultants previously, praised the work of the consultants and suggested their recommendations be adopted. The staff resisted in every way and ultimately did nothing with what was originally planned. The recommendations were never implemented by the senior staff. In a reference check by another organization seeking consulting advice, the CEO praised the report and gave the consulting firm very high marks for its efforts. Privately, he said, "Although we did not implement all the recommendations and some were already in planning, it was a good exercise for the organization."23

Robert Schaffer, the author of High Impact Consulting, agrees that much consulting is ineffective and offers one explanation:

Throughout our lives, we are trained to depend on the experts to give us the answers. . . . Conventional consulting methodologies reinforce this perception by putting consultants in the lofty role of diagnosticians and solution providers. This mystical faith in what the consultant’s magic potions can accomplish often motivates otherwise hardheaded business executives to spend huge sums and considerable time and energy on consulting projects that have no demonstrable connection to bottom-line achievements.24

Evidence from both the private and public sectors raises questions about consulting approaches for nonprofits. At the very least, nonprofit consultants and grantmakers should be very careful before adopting practices from private sector consulting or large-scale technical assistance programs. It is clearly not safe to assume that if techniques or practices are commonly used, they must be effective.

Notes for "The Need for Capacity Building"
1 Salamon, Lester M., America’s Nonprofit Sector: A Primer, 2nd Edition (New York: The Foundation Center, 1999). P. 173.
2 Foundation Center, Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities, 2003 edition.
3 Correspondence with Barbara Kibbe, December 17, 2002.
4 David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program Guidelines.

Notes for "Research on Nonprofit Effectiveness and Improvement"
1 Weick, Karl E., "Drop Your Tools: An Allegory for Organizational Studies," Administrative Service Quarterly, Vol. 41, June 1996, pp. 301–313. P. 309.
2 Pettigrew, Andrew, T.J.S. Brignall, Janet Harvey, and David Webb, The Determinants of Organizational Performance: A Review of the Literature (Coventry: Warwick Business School, March 1999). P. 50.
3 Baldridge National Quality Program, Criteria for Performance Excellence,
4 Forbes, Daniel, "Measuring the Unmeasurable: Empirical Studies of Nonprofit Organization Effectiveness from 1977–1997," Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 1998, pp. 183–202.; Stone, Melissa, Barbara Bigelow, and William Crittenden, "Research on Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations: Synthesis, Analysis and Future Directions," Administration & Society, Vol. 31, No. 3, July 1999, pp. 378–425.; Pettigrew, Andrew, T.J.S. Brignall, Janet Harvey, and David Webb, The Determinants of Organizational Performance: A Review of the Literature (Coventry: Warwick Business School, March 1999).
5 Daft, Richard L., Organization Theory and Design, 7th edition (Mason: South-Western College Publishing, 2001).; Bolman, Lee G. and Terence E. Deal, Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997).
6 Quinn, Robert E., Beyond Rational Management: Mastering the Paradoxes and Competing Demands of High Performance (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing, 1988). P. 49.
7 Pettigrew, Andrew, T.J.S. Brignall, Janet Harvey, and David Webb, The Determinants of Organizational Performance: A Review of the Literature (Coventry: Warwick Business School, March 1999). P.118.
8 Holland, Thomas, "Self-Assessment by Nonprofit Boards," Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Vol. 2, No. 1, Fall 1991, pp. 25–35. P. 26.
9 Jackson, Douglas and Thomas Holland, "Measuring the Effectiveness of Nonprofit Boards," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 1998, pp. 159–182.
10 Herman, Robert D. and David O. Renz, "Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness: Contrasts Between Especially Effective and Less Effective Organizations," Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Vol. 9, No. 1, Fall 1998, pp. 23–38.
11 Stone, Melissa, Barbara Bigelow, and William Crittenden, "Research on Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations: Synthesis, Analysis and Future Directions," Administration & Society, Vol. 31, No. 3, July 1999, pp. 378–425.
12 Nohria, N. and S. Ghoshal, The Differentiated Network: Organising Multinational Organisations for Value Creation (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing, 1997). P. 190.
13 CSC Index, (1994) State of reengineering report (North America and Europe).
14 Cameron, Kim S. and Robert E. Quinn, Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework (Addison Wesley Series on Organization Development, 1999). P. 9–10.
15 "Technical Assistance & Progressive Organizations for Social Change in Communities of Color," A report to the Saguaro Grantmaking Board (New York: The Funding Exchange, 1999).
16 Weisbord, Marvin R., "Towards a New Practice Theory of OD: Notes on Snapshooting and Moviemaking," Research in Organization Change and Development, Vol. 12, 1988, pp. 59–96. P. 63.
17 Weisbord, Marvin R., "Towards a New Practice Theory of OD: Notes on Snapshooting and Moviemaking," Research in Organization Change and Development, Vol. 12, 1988, pp. 59–96. P. 70.
18 Weisbord, Marvin R., "Towards a New Practice Theory of OD: Notes on Snapshooting and Moviemaking," Research in Organization Change and Development, Vol. 12, 1988, pp. 59–96. P. 66.
19 Pettigrew, Andrew, T.J.S. Brignall, Janet Harvey, and David Webb, The Determinants of Organizational Performance: A Review of the Literature (Coventry: Warwick Business School, March 1999). P. 71.
20 Nutt, P.C., "Selecting Tactics to Implement Strategic Plans," Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 10, 1989, pp.145–161.
21 Wahl, E., M. Cahill, and N. Fruchter, Building Capacity: A Review of Technical Assistance Strategies (New York: Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University, 1988). P. 14.
22 Berman, Paul and Milbrey Wallin McLaughlin, Federal Programs Supporting Educational Change: Volume 1: A Model of Educational Change (Rand Corporation. Prepared for the U.S. Office of Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare R-1589/1-HEW, September 1974). P. 38.
23 Phillips, Jack, The Consultant’s Scorecard: Tracking Results and Bottom-Line Impact of Consulting Projects (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999). P. 4.
24 Schaffer, Robert H., High Impact Consulting: How Clients and Consultants Can Leverage Rapid Results into Long-Term Gains (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997). P. 133.

Investing in Capacity Building

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