The accountability of advocacy NGOs: insights from the online community of practice

Goncharenko, Galina (2019) The accountability of advocacy NGOs: insights from the online community of practice. Accounting Forum, 43 (1). pp. 135-160. ISSN 0155-9982

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Advocacy non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play an important role in society by keeping in check the power of corporations and governments and uncovering rights violations. They differ from other NGOs in terms of their agenda, funding structure and the stakeholders they serve, and operate in a context characterised by increasing demands for transparency, accountability and responsible advocacy. This study examines how the accountability agenda of advocacy NGOs is shaped by the need to maintain independence, preserve values and keep reputation unsullied when faced with financial and legitimacy pressures. A netnography method is employed to analyse the discussions taking place in the NGOs’ online community of practice to understand the implications of the accountability challenges faced by advocacy NGOs through the perceptions of NGO professionals. The study reveals that the accountability agenda of advocacy NGOs is determined by the interrelated threats of financial vulnerability, potential loss of independence, legitimacy challenges and the high level of public scrutiny. The findings highlight that imperfect accountability mechanisms (e.g. financial reporting and performance management systems) hinder the ability of advocacy NGOs to demonstrate their accountability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is published in Special Issue: NGOs, Accounting and Accountability. Guest Editors: Carolyn Cordery, Ataur Rahman Belal, and Ian Thomson
Keywords: Advocacy NGOs, Accountability, Online community of practice, Netnography
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Accounting and Finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5601 Accounting. Bookkeeping
Depositing User: Galina Goncharenko
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 11:24
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 01:00

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