Soobaroyen, Teerooven and Sannassee, Raja Vinesh
An exploratory study of financial priorities, financial planning and control practices in voluntary organisations: Perceptions of treasurers in a developing country
Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Organisational Change, 3, (3), . (doi:10.1108/18325910710820300).
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Purpose: This study seeks to explore the financial priorities, financial planning and control practices in locally-established voluntary organisations (LVOs) in a developing country context.
Design/methodology/approach: Two data collection methods are used to gather views from the LVO treasurers: a questionnaire survey and face-to-face interviews.
Findings: Treasurers are less focused on priorities involving internal planning and control and are found to be using financial planning and control practices to a limited and seemingly unsophisticated extent. In consideration of the theoretical implications of organizational legitimacy, overall findings suggest that internal practices are: extensively used to convey a symbolic message of rationality, in the pursuit of a pragmatic or a moral form of legitimacy towards a defined funding body or towards a perceived internal target audience, respectively; used in a limited and informal way due to their perceived inappropriateness in legitimating organizations, in “deference” to the voluntary organizations' (VO) primary social objectives; or are virtually inexistent, due to the strong influence of trust embedded in an “emotional-led” context, thereby explaining the irrelevance of financial/control practices – even for symbolic reasons.
Research limitations/implications: The questionnaire response rate has been relatively low but the findings are enhanced by the diversity of organizations which participated in the questionnaire and interview stages.
Originality/value: This study focuses on locally established organizations in a developing country context, which are typically less subjected to VO regulation and are “managed” by (unpaid) volunteers. The interviews involved a cross-section of LVOs, which has been instrumental in contemplating the potential relevance of the legitimacy perspective.
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