The globalisation of non-governmental organisations: drivers and stages

Baguley, John Maurice (2004). The globalisation of non-governmental organisations: drivers and stages. PhD thesis The Open University.



Commercial companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are internationalising at an increasing pace. Yet little is known about the management of NGOs during this process. Indeed, they have been neglected by comparison to the literature on companies.

This thesis draws on theories of how and why companies internationalise to determine whether the explanations they offer can be extended to cover NGOs. It considers the driving forces experienced by NGOs, the stages they pass through.

This was undertaken through a postal survey using results from 52 international NGOs from Europe and the US. The findings were later considered in relation to four case studies of NGOs; two relatively small NGOs, which have internationalised slowly, and two larger and faster NGOs, to give practical examples and a wider insight into internationalisation.

The results indicate that for driving force theories to be applicable to NGOs they need to take into account NGOs strong internal motivation to meet "needs", the varying influence of drivers on different NGOs and the separate roles drivers play for NGOs. For stage theories the results suggest that there are similarities and differences with companies, and that Federations may follow a parallel route to other NGOs.

The results also suggest that NGO managers should pay critical attention to the range of driving forces, both internal and external, that apply to their organisation. Managers should also be prepared for problems with their overseas branches before they reach the stage of being "truly global"; NGOs, however, may be better suited to that stage than many companies.

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