About this Research Topic
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is a broad term, covering different types of organizations, such as associations, foundations, voluntary organizations, public charities, social advocacy groups, as well as different kinds of structures that include hospitals, universities, trade organizations, just to mention a few of them. They sustain the active participations of citizens with the aim of improving the quality of life of individuals and their communities; their actions span from funding research to advocacy, and from social services to historical heritage protection.
Notwithstanding the variety of the forms and the activities they perform, all NPOs share the same features. Indeed, NPOs usually share the following characteristics: they are formally structured, private, do not depend on the state, even though they might receive funds from local or national government for their activities; they are non-profit, they operate for purposes other than generating profit and they do not distribute profits to directors, managers and stakeholders. Moreover, NPOs are also usually self-governed, they have their own mechanism for internal governance, are fundamentally in control of their own affairs, and they rely on some degree of voluntary work.
In the past two decades, these organizations are experiencing an ever-growing demand to provide services, due to the rise of economic and social problems, as well as the reduction of services funded by local and national Governments. At the same time, they are also facing a substantial reduction in public funds for performing their activities. Moreover, NPOs are confronted with increasing competition among themselves for getting volunteers, donors, and resources.
The survival and growth of these organizations in an increasingly competitive environment depends on their ability to manage and develop their knowledge. According to Drucker, knowledge is the only source of sustainable competitive advantage and it has proven to play a key role in achieving excellence and innovation in the NPOs and beyond, generating a positive impact on their present as well as on their future performance.
Knowledge adds value to organizations through the management and development of intangible assets, such as positive relationships with customers and end-users, an organization’s reputation, volunteers’ and employees ‘commitment, and donors’ loyalty. It is for this reason that Sveiby has defined intangible assets as knowledge structures.
Intangible assets represent strategic success factors for nonprofit organizations, since these assets cannot be easily imitated by competing organizations. More than that, NPOs offer services that are intangible by their own nature. Finally, intangible assets are the main, if not the only resources NPOs can rely on.
Building on these considerations, this Research Topic aims to deepen the knowledge on the role of intangible assets in NPOs, from interdisciplinary psychological perspectives.
We welcome empirical and theoretical articles, perspectives and review papers that engage with any of the following (or related) areas of interest, though we also welcome areas that are not included below:
• Volunteers’ and employees’ wellbeing
• NPOs’ reputation and performance
• Challenges and peculiarities of management of NPOs’ human capital
• NPOs’ networking and performance
• NPOs’ internal and external stakeholders’ loyalties
• Knowledge creations among NPOs
• NPOs’ turnover and intention to stay
• Volunteers and employees’ commitment
• Values and management of NPOs
• Role and effects of emotion at work among NPOs
• Measuring and assessing intangible assets of NPOs
• Comparison between intangible assets of NPOs and intangible assets of Governmental or For-Profit Organizations
Keywords: Nonprofit Organizations, NPOs, Knowledge structures, Intangible assets
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.