Strategic invasion: Response of the voluntary nonprofit to strategic processes

Ziva Sharp, David M. Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the encounter between the voluntary nonprofit organization (VNPO) and the strategic process in order to study how these organizations may harness strategic processes in a way that somehow does not threaten their cultures and social mission. Design/methodology/approach: The paper adopts an exploratory case study approach. Findings: The case study identifies a set of complex, multi-faceted behaviors that serve a dual role, functioning simultaneously as both inhibitors and enablers of the strategic process. As a framework for future research, the paper proposes a two-dimensional scheme which models the scope and mode of organizational behavior in a strategic process. The case study indicates that VNPOs may tend to adopt what is classified as a "sectional-organic" pattern of response. This pattern of response balances the organization's needs for continuity and change, enabling the execution of the process in a manner compatible with the specific organizational characteristics of the VNPO. Originality/value: Previous studies of strategic processes in the VNPO have reported resistance and partial, stunted processes, stemming from the organization's need to protect its mission-oriented identity from the threats posed by a strategic process. However, the results of this case study, in which the subject organization managed to successfully develop an effective strategic plan, suggest that the behavior pattern of the VNPO in a strategic process may not be strictly defensive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-339
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Non-profit organizations
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Strategic planning


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