Research Summary

Performance Measurement and Accountability in the Social Sector

by Alnoor Ebrahim

Description

Professor Ebrahim's research examines the pressures for accountability facing social sector organizations, and their implications for organizational performance. How can nonprofits and social enterprises measure performance in order to achieve better results? This work focuses on three dilemmas confronting social sector leaders: a) how to prioritize among the competing, and sometimes incommensurable, demands for accountability from different principals and stakeholders; b) how to measure social performance; and, c) how to design governance structures and systems to align accountability aims throughout the organization. While these dilemmas in social sector organizations  are not unlike those facing businesses, they are complicated by the fact that social, rather than financial performance is the bottom line in this work.