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Critical Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance:

Thursday, October 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robin Wehrlin
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Conference Save the Date Announcement & Initial Call for Papers


Critical Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance

A Conference for Researchers and Practitioners


Sponsored by

The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership

University of Missouri – Kansas City


The Nonprofit Quarterly


April 11-12, 2019

Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.


The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC and The Nonprofit Quarterly are pleased to announce and invite proposals for paper presentations for their 2019 Conference on Nonprofit Governance.  This year’s conference theme, Critical Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance, highlights the need to continue to develop an increasingly diverse array of insights and perspectives in order to critically examine the world of nonprofit governance and boards. This conference challenges practitioners and researchers to come together to examine from multiple perspectives how we engage in governance and how governance and the work of boards is and will continue to be evolving in these challenging and dynamic times. In particular, this conference will encourage participants to consider the growing body of alternate perspectives on nonprofit governance that are being advanced to challenge the conventional views on nonprofit governance and its practice. 


This highly participative conference will employ the Midwest Center model that has successfully guided its academic-practitioner conferences.  It serves as a relatively intimate gathering of those who are serious about sharing and shaping governance ideas and learning, and it offers opportunities for formal and informal discussion and dialogue among the researchers, consultants, executives, and academics who are most engaged in addressing these challenges.  Central to the conference is sharing insights generated in recent governance research.  Equally central are the opportunities for dialogue that enable us to build on and look beyond the theory and research as experienced leaders who are exploring new and innovative strategies and approaches in their communities and organizations.  Half of the conference breakout sessions will be facilitated (non-presentation) dialogue sessions, each focused on a specific issue or topic of interest.   Among the key themes and topics we expect to explore at this conference:


Ø  Addressing the Dynamics that Undermine Inclusion in Nonprofit Governance

Ø  Power, Influence and Engagement: Who Really Governs Nonprofits and How?

Ø  Governing the Nonprofit Commons: Applying Ostrom’s Insights to Today’s Governance Challenges

Ø  Employing a Critical Perspective in Our Conception and Study of Nonprofit Governance

Ø  The Nature of Nonprofit Governance in an Era of Neoliberal Democracy

Ø  The Changing Nature of Governance in a Digital Environment

Ø  The Nature of Governance of Hybrid Organizations: Is It Different?

Ø  Governance in and of Networks and Alliances

Ø  The Blurring of Nonprofit and Public Sector Governance

Ø  Stakeholders, Stockholders, and the Changing Nature of Nonprofit Governance


These topics illustrate many (though certainly not all) of the kinds of questions and issues that we are likely to explore at the 2019 conference.   We welcome and invite papers that focus on any aspects of nonprofit governance and boards, including governance of public-benefit charities, hybrid organizations, and social enterprises.  We consider papers that are empirical, papers that are conceptual, and prescriptive papers if they are based on theory and research.  Presentations are 15 minutes in length and at least one presenter must register for and participate in the full conference.


The deadline for receipt of proposals is January 14, 2019.  Proposals should be no more than 3 pages.  For empirical papers, proposals will include a statement of the issue(s) to be considered, an overview of the relevant literature, a statement of the methods used and a summary of the anticipated results.  Proposals for conceptual papers should not exceed 3 pages and must include a statement of the issue(s) to be considered, an overview of the relevant literature, a statement of the thesis or theses to be developed, and how these add to our understanding.  Please send proposals to Review Coordinator, Cindy Laufer. They may be sent as email attachments to: or mailed to the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, The Bloch School of Management, 5110 Cherry, Suite 310, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499.  Notification of acceptance will be sent by January 31, 2017.


About the Conference

The conference begins on Thursday morning, April 11, 2019, and runs through mid-afternoon on April 12.  The conference will be held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, and multiple options for lodging will be made available.  Registration for the conference will open January, 2019. 


Questions about the conference may be directed to conference co-directors, David Renz ( or Brent Never (

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