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Voluntary sector in transitionHard times or new opportunities?$
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Linda Milbourne

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427236

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427236.001.0001

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Community Heroes, Survivors or Casualties? Exploring Risk and Resilience in the Voluntary Sector

Community Heroes, Survivors or Casualties? Exploring Risk and Resilience in the Voluntary Sector

Chapter:
(p.151) Seven Community Heroes, Survivors or Casualties? Exploring Risk and Resilience in the Voluntary Sector
Source:
Voluntary sector in transition
Author(s):

Linda Milbourne

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847427236.003.0007

This chapter considers the recent climate of recession affecting the voluntary sector, seeking to understand both external and internal factors contributing to organisational survival in adverse circumstances. The chapter draws on case studies of three voluntary sector organisations to explore questions of risk and resilience among survivors and casualties, considering the extent to which compliance and conformity are requisites for survival in this new organisational order. The chapter first explores ideas of risk and resilience, providing a lens through which to consider how organisations can navigate recent changes. Drawing on an analysis of organisational cases, the chapter identifies a typology of entrepreneurs, resisters and accommodators, considering how each of these positions can construct survivors and casualties. Any typology necessarily highlights differences at the expense of similarities but offers a conceptual map for understanding the different ways that voluntary organisations have approached potential threats to survival. It argues that the myths of growth and diversification as protective strategies chime well with policy priorities but may serve voluntary sector interests poorly.

Keywords:   Organisational survival, Organisational sense-making, Entrepreneurialism, Capacity building, Diversification, Resistance, Accommodation, Recession

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