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Best Paper Award 2019 for Voluntas
By Faina Diola, (Philippines) Chair, Voluntas 2019 Best Paper Award Committee
With pride, we present the winner of the Best Paper Award for Voluntas (Vol.30) 2019.
For 2019, we had to choose from among 107 original papers from Issues 1 to 6. As always, the papers published in Voluntas for 2019 are of high quality, coming from a diverse geographical sphere and which represent the breadth of both theoretical and practical nuances in Third Sector research.
The Committee members have had to make further deliberation towards the final phase of the selection as there were two papers that came quite close in the rankings. It was then at a virtual meeting in June that we deemed it best to also present the next best paper as Honorable Mention, worthy of its merit.
We present below the Best Paper and the paper that deserves an Honorable Mention.
Best Paper Award:
Purpose, Commitment and Coordination Around Small Wins: A Proactive Approach to Governance in Integrated Hybrid Organizations
By Miriam Wolf and Johanna Mair
Voluntas Volume 30: No. 3 (June), pp. 535–548
(The paper will be open to all on the Voluntas website from September to November 2020)
Research work on hybrid organizations has become a favorite topic by scholars and practitioners alike. The paper by Wolf and Mair on hybrid organizations, specifically on social enterprises, is however more proactive: it makes an original contribution to the study of hybrid organizations by focusing on governance mechanisms that provide a new perspective, away from the traditional control view on organizations.
Indeed, the paper makes a strong focus on a key challenge of social enterprises (i.e., mission drift) and suggests an important approach to expanding governance concerns beyond narrow compliance questions. It brings home the point by drawing on the legacy of the old institutional theory on purpose, commitment, and coordinating around small wins, but treating these as interlocking governance mechanisms that allow social enterprises as hybrid organizations to mitigate the risk of mission drift.
Despite the obvious absence of empirical data, the paper is no doubt theoretically solid, exhaustive, and relevant. Wolf and Mair’s paper is solid in its theoretical review and in the use of literature to lodge the new knowledge it has created and by which it weaves the study’s discourse and elucidates its theoretical arguments. Based on the objectives and the scope of the paper, the use of theory and related studies nevertheless warranted the analysis and conclusions. Its research methodology is therefore robust, while providing strong analytical frameworks as probable bases for tests in future empirical research.
The paper is highly relevant in terms of policy for the third sector in different countries, giving valuable sense by arguing on the importance of going beyond control and compliance approaches in hybrid organizations. The paper especially stresses on the intertwined mechanisms: coordinating around small wins as a governance mechanism provides the opportunity to align both commitment and purpose over time and to ensure continuous adaptation and development of the organization. Essentially, the paper introduces a governance approach that recognizes features providing for space for proactivity and self-correction. This theoretical argument helps to unlock mind boggling pressures of how social enterprises may cope with how to align multiple institutional pressures and demands within and outside of the organization, that is, a fresh look that focuses on common ends rather than diverging means.
The Obligation to Volunteer as Fair Reciprocity? Welfare Recipients’ Perceptions of Giving Back to Society
By: Thomas Kampen, Lex Veldboer, & Reinout Kleinhans
Voluntas Vol. 30 (2019) : No. 5 (October), pp. 991–1005
The paper’s original contribution is its slant on the impacts of mandatory volunteering while bringing in a strong social justice analysis. The paper has clear implications for social justice, welfare states, and touches on broader debates on volunteerism across countries. The paper uses solid research method by adopting in-depth qualitative analysis conducted over an extended period of time (2009 to 2013) and is rigorous and critical in its analysis.
The global pandemic and resultant rise in global unemployment makes this paper more relevant than ever! Its approach to focus on the volunteers is excellent. The different responses and views of volunteers shed light on the practice and the impact of the reward system associated with labor. Indeed, the paper is theoretically sound with clear options for extending the research to other contexts.
This said however, the paper’s relevance depends a bit on how prevalent underlying policies may be or become in the future. Also the analytical discussion and social justice issues may vary significantly vary from country to country and whether or not some countries may actually have volunteering policies at all. For other countries, the concept of "mandatory volunteering itself" may also sound controversial. Nevertheless, the paper merits its recognition as Honorable Mention.
Thanks to all our hardworking and conscientious committee members, as this work wouldn’t have been possible without the painstaking and valuable work of our esteemed members: Alice Acejas (Philippines), Marzina Begum (Bangladesh), Monica Estudillo (Mexico), Armine Ishkanian ( U.K.), Rafaella Rametta (Italy), Kimberly Reed (USA), Itamar Shachar (Belgium), and Hans Schmitz (USA).
Our congratulations to the Top Winners!
ERNOP Special Issue of Voluntas
Philanthropy in the spotlight?
Full paper submissions due: December 15th 2019
Guest editors: Marta Rey-García (School of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña (UDC), Spain), Georg von Schnurbein (Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS), University of Basel, Switzerland), Michaela Neumayr (Institute for Nonprofit Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)
The European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) is pleased to announce that a special issue of Voluntas will be dedicated to the theme of the 9th international ERNOP conference 2019. Scholars are invited to submit their full papers for the special issue, in which we will focus on achievements but also limitations of philanthropy. Furthermore, the opportunities and risks for philanthropy to address new societal issues or to tackle them in innovative ways will be explored.
In recent years, the public profile of philanthropy has increased. Across Europe (and beyond) philanthropic actors take the lead in addressing societal issues and the contribution of philanthropy is being (re)discovered by public actors. Nevertheless, at the same time, expectations about the resources and achievements of philanthropy may pale in the face of public welfare. The advancement of knowledge about the theory and practice of philanthropy has evidenced its achievements as much as it has unveiled its limitations. While philanthropy is not a new phenomenon, its heightened visibility has raised questions about the background and motives of philanthropic organizations and donors, the place of philanthropy within (European) welfare states, the relationship of philanthropy to other actors that aim to solve societal issues and/or put issues on the societal agenda, and the impact of philanthropy in society. New methods or models such as impact investing or political agenda setting push the boundaries of philanthropy further and fuel discussions of legitimacy. Digital transformation is influencing all actors involved in philanthropy and their relationships, from donors to volunteers. Philanthropy may not only tackle new digital threats, such as those to privacy or democracy, but also take advantage of the opportunities of becoming digital. An increase in visibility seems to call for more transparency and a better understanding of the achievements, limitations, opportunities and risks of philanthropy: we should look the philanthropic gift horse in the mouth.
We invite scholars from various disciplines sharing a motivation to discuss the achievements of philanthropy in the present day, and to generate new questions about how philanthropy might develop in the future. Scholars are especially encouraged to submit papers addressing questions related to the reputation of philanthropic organizations, including issues such as transparency and legitimation, papers addressing questions related to democratic aspects of philanthropy, such as power exerted due to philanthropic activities, papers addressing limitations of philanthropic achievements in regard of solving societal (social) issues, and papers exploring opportunities and risks for the future (new problems and new methods). More theory-oriented, conceptual papers on the opportunities and limitations of philanthropy research are also welcome. In doing so, the special issue aims to also discuss the less bright side of philanthropy.
Authors are requested to submit their manuscripts directly in the Springer system; be sure to indicate that the paper being submitted is part of the Special Issue: 'Philanthropy in the spotlight’ in the submission questionnaire.
This award is presented biennially for an outstanding paper in VOLUNTAS that contributes to the field of civil society, third sector, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntarism and related issues.
Best Paper Award 2016
Voluntas Best Paper Awards, 2016 & 2017
by Patricia Mendonça
Dear ISTR community,
To learn more, please visit https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11266-016-9
VOLUNTAS: Open Access Articles
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