Can community-based organisations be ‘managed’? An exploration

Margaret Harris, Carl Milofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research note focuses on one type of third sector organisation - community-based organisations (CBOs) - and notes how such organisations often struggle with implementing 'management' advice. It offers four theoretical frameworks for understanding CBOs: small groups; community embeddedness; local social movements; and organisational evolution. It then discusses the practical implications of the theoretical analysis for those running CBOs. It concludes that CBOs need to avoid the application of 'management' principles where these seem to threaten to destroy the very characteristics for which CBOs are most valued by their participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages11
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Policy Press 2023.


  • community organisation management
  • community-based organisations
  • local organisations
  • management practice
  • organisational embeddedness


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