Category Archives: 2011

Middle Managers’ Strategic Role in the Corporate Entrepreneurial Process: Attention-Based Effects

Charlotte Ren and Chao Guo

This article examines the strategic role of middle managers in the corporate entrepreneurial process from an attention-based perspective. By integrating literatures from multiple disciplines, the authors delineate the attention-based effects on how middle managers provide the impetus for different types of entrepreneurial opportunities (i.e., exploratory vs. exploitative initiatives). Specifically, middle managers, constrained by the attention structures of the firm, likely prescreen entrepreneurial opportunities from lower organizational levels and attend primarily to those that align with the strategic orientation of the firm. This tendency may be moderated by the presence of other players, middle managers’ structural positions, and the availability of slack resources. Moreover, in their efforts to sell initiatives to top management, middle managers may leverage “policy windows”—patterned regularities and irregularities in and around the organization—to exploit existing attention structures to their advantage or perhaps to dismantle those structures.

Journal of Management 37, no. 6 (2011): 1586-1610

Strategic Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations

Chao Guo, William A. Brown, Robert F. Ashcraft, Carlton F. Yoshioka and Hsiang-Kai Dennis Dong

This study explores the prevalence of strategic human resources management (HRM) practices in nonprofit organizations as well as the organizational and contextual determinants. Based on survey data collected from 229 charitable nonprofit organizations, we find that organizations that are larger in size, technologically savvy, and dependent on the work of independent contractors all appear to be more likely to implement strategic HRM practices. Local affiliates of national organizations are more likely to implement strategic HRM practices. In addition, younger organizations, educational organizations, and organizations that do not have dedicated HR staff are also more likely to implement strategic HRM practices. Although dependence on volunteer labor has no significant effect on the outcome, further analysis indicates that volunteer-dependent organizations differ from others in several aspects of strategic HRM.

Review of Public Personnel Administration 31, no. 3 (2011): 248-269

Social Media and the Social Good: How Nonprofits Use Facebook to Communicate with the Public

Gregory D. Saxton, Chao Guo, I-Hsuan Chiu and Bo Feng

In this study, we examine the social networking practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. More specifically, we develop a comprehensive classification scheme to delineate these organizations’ use of Facebook as a stakeholder engagement tool. We find that there are 5 primary categories of Facebook “statuses”, which can be aggregated into three key dimensions – “information”, “community”, and “action”. Our analysis reveals that, though the “informational” use of Facebook is still significant, nonprofit organizations are better at using Facebook to strategically engage their stakeholders via “dialogic” and “community-building” practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media seems to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.

 China Third Sector Research 1 (2011): 40-54


Governing Chinese Nonprofit Organizations: The Promise and Limits of the ‘Third Way’

Zhibin Zhang, Chao Guo and Dongjin Cai

Using the lens of board governance, this study examines the capacity of Chinese nonprofit organizations as an alternative to the market and the state in addressing societal problems. Based on case studies of two community-based organizations, we find that in both the advocacy-oriented and service-oriented organizations, the board focuses on fundraising and program development. Yet this seemingly similar focus results from different environmental conditions: facing unfavorable institutional and resource environments, the board of the advocacy organization is pressured to take a more proactive and rigorous role for the sake of survival. In contrast, the board of the service organization, with significant support from the government, is committed to expanding the organization. Our findings thus raise concerns about whether Chinese nonprofit organizations are an effective “third way” to address public problems.

 International Review of Public Administration 16, no. 1 (2011): 11

Accountability Online: Understanding the Web-based Accountability Practices of Nonprofit Organizations

Gregory D. Saxton and Chao Guo

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly using Internet-based technologies to address accountability. This article presents a set of conceptual, theoretical, and empirical innovations to help understand this phenomenon. First, this article presents a conceptual framework that delineates two key dimensions of Web-based accountability practices: disclosure and dialogue. It then posits a four-factor explanatory model of online accountability incorporating organizational strategy, capacity, governance, and environment. Last, it tests the model through a content analysis of 117 U.S. community foundation Web sites combined with survey and financial data. The descriptive statistics show that the Web site has been more effectively used to provide financial and performance disclosures than to provide dialogic mechanisms for stakeholder input and interactive engagement. Our multivariate analyses, in turn, highlight capacity- and governance-related variables, especially asset size and board performance, as the most significant factors associated with the adoption of Web-based accountability practices.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40, no. 2 (2011): 270-295