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.
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