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Strategies for Non-Profit Organisations Dissertation

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Updated: Jan 20th, 2021


Managing change that aims to transform non-profit organisations into profit making institutions is a paradigm shift that managers find to be a challenging and daunting task. The study was conducted establish the strategies and best practises necessary to achieve the transformation goal in an environment of increasing competition for funds from the same donors. The study used a combination of both qualitative and quantitative approaches based on the Biomatrix theory and change management models to explain the best strategies to manage change based on the models that satisfy the change management framework.

A systematic review of literature on change management strategies, organisational transformation methods, transformation ethos, the role of leadership styles, change management for competitive advantage, and change models for paradigm shift were investigated to establish the best approach for non-profit organisations to adopt. It was established that leadership played the key roles because culture change, behavior modification strategies, and methods to address resistance to change, team development strategies were critical for the change process and organisational development when converting non-profit organisations to profit making organisations for financial sustainability. It was noted that the current trend is that non-profit organisations are reducing their dependence on donor funds, merging to reduce running costs. The future trend, however, is for the non-profit organisations to merge to avoid the issue such as the duplication of services, and for those that do not merge, need to transform into profit making institutions for financial sustainability.


Differentiated strategies have been researched on and proposed by various researchers in academia on how non-profit organisations can broadly manage change within their operations to increase the monetary resources for sustainable operations and development. Non-profit organisations depend on “voluntary, public and corporate funding through donations and bequests to render their services” (Todnem, 2005, p. 377). Typically the “member-serving organisations include mutual societies, cooperatives, trade unions, credit unions, industry associations, sports clubs, retired serviceman’s clubs and peak bodies – organisations that benefit a particular group of people – the members of the organisation” (Todnem, 2005, p. 377). McDermott and O’dell (2001) argue that revenue that is generated as profits by a non-profit organisation is restricted and does not benefit the members.

Here, significant problems arise when non-profit organisations that depend on voluntary contributions or membership contributions become limited in monetary abilities that are reflected in the balance sheets that read red because the funds are insufficient to manage the operations of the organisations. The problem of financing non-profit institutions has been heightened by an increase in the number of non-profit organisations competing for funds from the same traditional donors and sources such as the government to finance their operations. However, because the donors are under increasing pressure to fund more organisations, the prospects of funding an increasing number of non-profit organisations has continued to diminish. McDermott and O’dell (2001) note that the monetary funding is neither adequate nor formal, making the funding of non-profit organisations a greater problem.

The effects of diminishing financial resources have been manifested in different operational areas of non-profit organisations at the service delivery and operations levels such as salary payments and the recruitment and selection of employees. The need to apply new strategies that could enable managers to revolutionise the operations of non-profit organisations into profit making operations has been driven by the demand for better strategies that lead to better profits. Despite the need for non-profit corporations to spend all their financial resources in public services, they are not prohibited from converting to financially viable institutions. However, Schein (2010) asserts that the management and organisational values belonging to ‘for-profit’ institutions need to be developed and enhance the operational capabilities of non-profit organisations.

To address the problem of diminishing financial resources, donor commitment, and competition from other non-profit organisations, this study was conducted to investigate the measures organisations could take to convert non-profit agencies into financially viable institutions. Mayrhofer (2004) recommends the use of a grand conjecture to institute practical decisions, which are founded on realistic theories that constitute vital characteristics associated with all sensible issues that organisational leaders tend to tackle. To achieve the goal, this study utilised the Biomatrix theory to establish a guideline for transforming non-profit organisations into financially viable institutions (Nakamura, Iwanaga, Henmi, Arai & Nishiyama, 2010). Nakamura et al. (2010) proposed different strategies to solve the problem, with each recommendation based on modifying the organisational culture of the recipient organisation, which is a dynamic approach of creating a new perspective on how to raise funds and make the institutions financially self-dependent. Other areas of study include the strategic approaches of changing employee behaviour to work towards making the institutions financially viable.

Objectives and Scope

The scope of this study was to determine how the change management process can be utilised to transform non-profit organisation into financially sustainable institutions. A fundamental transformation refers the various levels of organisational cultures. It tends to change employees’ behaviours and their way of thinking. The aim is to offer insight from an external point of view and direction on how to triumphantly transform an organisation’s management teams. The project used the terms such as organisational transformation and organisational change interchangeably. The paper conducted an investigation of the discourse between the present conditions and recommended an ideal blueprint that could be generalised across non-profit making organisations.

  1. To investigate the necessary approach to organisational transformation methods
  2. Investigate the change culture change strategies for non-profit organisations
  3. Investigate the role of transformation ethos on non-profit organisations transformation
  4. Investigate the role of leadership in transforming non-profit organisations to profit making intuitions
  5. Investigate the change management strategies for competitive advantage
  6. Establish the change models for paradigm shift for current and future trends

Literature Review


Non-profit organisations are unique because of the nature of operations and their task involvements within the society. Research findings show that non-profit organisations

Change management strategies

Change is a critical feature of each organisation that wants to dynamically respond to the changes that have happened in the donor funding environment. The case with non-profit organisations and the financial problems affecting them have led researchers to conclude that changing the institutions could enable them to make corrections and steer their profit making operations into higher levels of operational functionality and productivity to ensure financial sustainability for their survival. According to Woodside (2010), organisations require employees with novel skills to work more efficiently in the unfolding funding circumstances to increase the financial reliability of the non-profit organisations.

According to Gratton (2004), change is a continuous process and organisations have to respond to the demands for change to remain relevant in the provision of services to the communities. However, to bring about change requires trained and skilled people to transform organisations from their current states to the new states. In each case of the change process, it has been noted that chance can occur if some of the skills such as networking, team building, trust, personal resilience, coaching, and uncertainty management are owned by the change agents, who constitute the employees under the leadership of the managers. Woodside (2010) has suggested that the change agent must demonstrate evidence of conscious and unconscious competencies.

Pascale, Millemann and Gioja (2000) proposed that non-profit organisations can successfully transform their financial operations depending on the seven system aspects and how they correlate in the transformation process. The aspects include ethos, cultures, aims, process, structure, governance and substance. According to Pascale et al. (2000), management takes the highest responsibility of influencing organisational change. Pascale et al. (2000) proposed an approach on how an organisation can efficiently introduce changes but did not elaborate how an organisation can achieve stability after change has been introduced. However, the study by Pascale et al. (2000) suggested operational and adaptive challenges as some of the problems that arise due to organisational transformation that managers need to consider after a successful transformation has occurred. The authors further highlighted some approaches that organisations can exploit to deal with the problems.

Organisational transformation

Considerable research in academia show that globalisation and the advent of modern technologies have led to considerable changes in organisational management structures, operations systems and organisational cultures (Holbeche, 2009). To respond to the changes that happen in the global environment, non-profit organisations have endeavoured to make change to be the agenda and focus of their operations today. The challenges facing organisations are how to create those structures that do not entirely rely on donor funding to those structures that allow non-profit organisations to develop ways of generating profits to run their operations and make them financially sustainable. The critical challenges remain on how to transformation be done and which methods are most appropriate to use the change agents such as the managers and the employees to lead change and modify the organisational culture as desired.

Jones (2010) note that organisations managers who have experienced the transformation process value culture as a powerful tool to manage employee behavior to work productively to improve the overall organisational performance in terms of financial sustainability for continuous sustainability. However, most of the scholarly literature on the culture of non-profit organisations reveals the psychology, attitudes, and behaviours of the employees that need to be transformed to enable them work in a non-profit environment by transforming their operations become financially self-reliant. McMillan (2004) affirms that “traditional notions of institutions and how to manage them may have suited more stable times, but they do not offer effective solutions to corporations coping with fast-flowing uncertainties of the modern world” (p. 1). In each case, the key components that define the culture that need to be changed include operational structures of the non-profit organisations, the customs and norms that are embedded within the organisational culture, the rules and policies that define how the institutions raise funds, management and employee behaviours, communication strategies within the institutions, and the goals and measurements that define an organisational culture of an institution to respond to the physical environment that dictates how the institution operates.

Different researchers proposed different methods that can be used to transform organisations, with each proposed approach pegged on the fact that change cannot be introduced spontaneously, but gradually (Mayrhofer, 2004). Researchers such as McMillan (2004) argue that planned change management strategies that emanate from within the organisation and are the most appropriate because changes that happen from outside of an organisation are spontaneous, accidental, and does not utilise scientific knowledge as planned change does. The case for non-profit organisations fits well into planned change management strategies that emanate from within the organisation because the change strategies factor deliberate, explicit, and purposeful engagement of the employees and the management in general are the best actors of the change process. However, non-profit organisations operate in environments that depend on those who provide funds and any changes must occur as process and not spontaneous. In each area of the change process, pioneers it the discipline and areas of change argue that organisations can only be successful if experts are engaged both from the internal and external environments to implement the change.

Mullins (2007) extended a research by McMillan (2004) on the subject of change by noting that change under a professional agent must happen collaboratively by involving the experts and the organisation that draws on the power, skills, and knowledge of change experts have shown significant success. The argument proposed by Mullins (2007) asserts that the first order and second changes are distinguished in each case by unique characteristics that are the key to the success of the change process. For instance, the first order of change is distinguished by developmental change, variations that exist within the system of operations of the organisation, the level of existential state of the organisation, and the elements which involve output values of the change process. Mullins (2007) argues that the second order transformation occur at the root of the organisation and involves each employee working for the organisation. In each case of the change process, change is implemented as a learning process that reflects the past and makes a fundamental step that is embodied in theory with a foundation that is established on a new system of values. Here, change happens as a revolutionary undertaking, a radical shift, and a logical jump.

Dostal (2005) recommends Biomatrix theory as the best approach for achieving an integrative and holistic approach to organisational transformation. McMillan (2004) on the hand argues that the reduction of scientific archetype and mechanistic global views that are symbolized by linear methods and conventional patterns involve are collectively applicable regulations. Divorcing the industrial perceptions of introducing change into the organisation serves better the transformation aspects and change paradigms that reflect the modern nature of the operating environment. In modern terms, organisational transformation is a change process that factors a paradigm shift based on the Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolution, which is appropriate for non-profit organisations that have been embedded in the classical system thinking approach. However a big number of the non-profit organisations work with an attitude of the industrial epoch preventing them from accomplishing their goals in the current time when non-profit organisations compete for the same pie of donations. MacMillan (2004) identifies novel ways of thinking and working that may empower non-profit organisations to deal with challenges emanating from globalisation and technological development. He draws an explicit comparison between traditional and modern perceptions of organisational transformation. Nevertheless, MacMillan does not clearly elaborate managers’ opinion on the different attitudes.

In theory, attitude emanates from the internal organism that is the person/employee working as a change agent to modify the operations of an organisation. In the context of organisational transformation, Todnem (2005) argues that attitudes are perceptions of the employee at the operational and management levels that are predisposed to evaluate the organisation and the transformational processes that people get involved in. Once the employees of the non-profit organisation have been predisposed to the facts that necessitate change, attitude modifies behaviour which enables the transformation agent to work towards the change process by evaluating the degree of favourable and non-favourable results that arise when the new change that has been introduced into the organisation (Todnem, 2005). The overall evaluation of the attitude of each employee is based on the cognitive capabilities of the employees that support the change manager to ensure that the change process is implemented by relying on the strength of the cognition capabilities of the people. Todnem (2005) notes that attitude that is based on the cognitive capabilities of the people dependent on the results of the way people work and think for the organisation. In addition, it has been demonstrated in empirical literature that once people have done an appraisal of the existing environment and the expected new environment, their behaviours are modified to respond to the new organisational challenges that come with the new environment.

The overall cognitive approach for evaluating the change process defines the attitudes developed by the employees towards the transformation process and the responses from the employees. According to Vecchiato and Roveda (2010) cognition enables employees to develop self-concept and to merge the personal values with those of the organisation that are necessary for developing a non-profit organisation. In addition, the limitations of the beliefs and values that affect the inclusion and participation of employees in the change process are embodied in the abilities of the manager and other change agents to identify the areas that need to be focused on and how to fill the value and belief gaps within the scope of the change processes.

Cultural paradigm shift

The positive stance of the organisational culture is that culture is real, complex, and pervasive and affects the way institutions operate. It has been proposed that culture is a management tool that enables managers to steer the non-profit organisations to profitability and operational efficiencies in terms of the monetary function, which underpins the life and existence of a non-profit organisation (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). A culture paradigm shift is important to enable the organisation and its members to inculcate the values and beliefs into the organisational culture to enable the employees to work towards changing the organisation. Typically, an organisation can embrace culture in the context and level of basic assumptions that are based on the conscious decisions to work for the organisation. Visible articles, values and beliefs are combined to enable the manager define the desired organisation culture and create the conceptual framework upon which culture shift can be based.

Here, McDermott and O’dell (2001) describe the contemporary linear methods that can be translated to show how culture can be modified and proposed in an incremental top-down way where change is designed and discharged sequentially. In the context of the argument by McDermott and O’dell (2001), change involves the beliefs and values of employee and the management working for a non-profit organisation depending on the culture that should be modified. In theory, culture is exhibited in different forms and it is necessary to address those cultures that arise within the organisation because of their aggregate effects on the performance of the people within the organisation. Examples include hierarchical, occupational, and cultural diversities that happen within the organisation. However, researchers have proposed the functional dependencies of the elements that define the cultural web which include controls, the power structure of the non-profit organisation, customs and practises, ethics, values, and the culture paradigm.

While some authors such as McDermott and O’dell (2001) contend that the world is dynamic by inferring to the conclusion that culture change is not necessary, previous studies by authors such as Armenakis and Harris (2009) assert that “most authors clearly demonstrate a novel worldview, which is conscious of a hastily changing world where small causes can have big effects and where different approaches are needed” (p. 79). Armenakis and Harris (2009) supports the idea that a paradigm shift in the way non-profit organisations are run based on the values and belief systems that define the organisational culture are important to respond to the new ways of thinking and the dynamics that define the world.

According to Vecchiato and Roveda (2010), paradigm shift occurs at different capacities based on different models and paradigms and work by discovering interventional strategies, evaluating existing anomalies, suggesting changes, implementing the paradigm revolution based on new ideas and methods that have been tested and proved to work, and using normal scientific methods to implement change within the existing paradigm (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). The core elements that act as indicators for the success of the paradigm shift include growth of the organisation and the efficiency of its operations such as those reflected on the balance sheet, decline on overdependence of external financial support, effective management of financial crisis that arise within the organisation, management of conflicts and chaos that affect the organisation’s operations, and evidence of effective transformation and revitalisation. The rationale or the paradigm shift is to ensure the organisation’s belief systems explain the new shape of policy changes and operations.

However, culture change cannot occur as a culture shock, but must be gradual, a fact supported by Dostal (2005) who contends that organisations are coming up with mechanisms to help them transform and cope with changes in a progressive manner. In his literature, Dostal (2005) argues that culture change can be enacted by implementing employee training programs to equip workers with skills on how to implement changes in a holistic and universal way. The perception supports the idea that an organisation wanting to change must have a reason for the change and what to change in the culture. However, in each case of culture change, it is vital for organisational managers to understand the context in which different types of cultures operate based on their characteristics. Among those cultures that have been proposed by different authors include the power culture, role culture, task culture, and the person culture.

Power culture

The central issues here is to show how change can be inculcated into individual employees including the management to change their perceptions on how to work within the non-profit organisations with the dynamism and skills necessary for a profit making organisation. The approach is embodied in Bourdieu’s theory of practise that points out how actions can be regulated to follow specified statistical patterns without drawing on the need to stringently comply with the rules, conscious intentions, or norms that guide decision making. According to Archer (2000), subjective intentions or other external influences and the observations made by individuals on regularities of social action define the rational structures that can be accommodated to enable those responsible for leading the organisational employee with the legitimacy required and recognised by those who are led to work for the organisation (Archer, 2000). The nature and hierarchy of power within non-profit organisations reflects the actions of those who have the legitimacy and responsibility to influence and direct employee within the structure that is largely reflective of formal institution. The leadership influence spreads out through communication channels that are informal in nature and depend on the trust placed on the communicating parties.

A non-profit organisation that intends to reengineer its operations both internally and externally must function on a culture defined by a few rules and procedures. The capability of leadership must be evident in the recruitment practises where the right people with the right competencies to work in the key jobs are given the jobs to for organisational efficiency. According to Burnes (2004), power within the management can be exhibited in terms of decisions that are based on the balance of power to improve the operational efficiency of the organisation depending on the linkages that are established within the organisation.

Castiglione (2008) argues that the power culture is illustrated in the ability to modify people respond to change by enabling the management to establish the direction to change and react quickly to the external and internal factors that demand a specific type of change.

Role culture

A study by Davies, Nutley and Mannion (2000) to determine the role of culture as a fundamental tool to implement change within the non-profit organisation by transforming employee perceptions revealed that the levers of culture should be inculcated in each change process. Role culture is characterised by the job description and the skill required for executing the job roles, power based on procedures, the characteristics of the operating environment, and the ability to secure predictability. However, the role approach has been criticised as being inefficient to use in the current organisational settings to address the demands to the global changes and competition for funds among many non-profit organisations.

Task culture

Task culture is characterised by the use of teams within the organisation that are complex and demanding to change employee perceptions and the way things are done. Martins and Terblanche (2003) argue that the orientation of culture is to ensure that work related tasks of transforming the organisation are done efficiently and effectively. For a typical non-profit organisation, the input by those people with specialised skills and knowledge act as the source of power that spread the effects of the powerful influence among organisational employees with powerful messages. In this setting, a non-profit organisation should establish goal based objectives that form the foundations on which operations of the organisation are run. Martins and Terblanche (2003) proposed that the task based culture can be applied within an organisation because it enables effective and timely responses to dynamic organisational changes such as those that non-profit organisations operate in.

Person culture

According to Gustavson (2001), person culture has been proposed by a continuum of researchers to be one of the most appropriate for organisation that operate in the non-profit environment. The reliance of the employees on the abilities and specialised skills of those who lead them forms the core of the culture. It has been shown that the culture can be practised by including “legal and accountancy firms, as the organisation is selling the specialist skill of its staff; this creates a need for staff to undergo continuous professional development” (Gustavson, 2001, p.23). It allows for career and skills development among the employees of the organisation.

Transformation ethos

Transforming an organisation underpins this study based on the Biomatrix they and web of interacting systems in an environment that consists of external and internal players who are indispensable for the existence of a non-profit organisation. Martins and Terblanche (2003) argues that for effective organisational change, the ethos or the trustworthiness of the change processes should be reflected in the needs and strategies of the organisation based on the leadership approaches that are critical for implementing the change activity and processes. In each case, entities consist of employees, the management, and stakeholders make practical contributions in changing and running the organisation. On the other hand, the activities encompass the processes, procedures, and other elements that are done by the entities to transform the organisation from its current state to a desired future state (Mayrhofer, 2004). In context of non-profit organisations, the structure, the reporting relationship among the workers, the communication plans, the assignment of roles and responsibilities, and job description define the ways in which the affairs of the organisation are executed.

Non-profit organisations’ operating environments consists of entities that interact with the external and internal environments as defined in a biomatrix structure (McMillan, 2004). The values and guiding principles that the organisation has to embrace into its operations define the uniqueness of the success strategies that are reflected in the proposed organisational structure. Here, non-profit organisations operate in an environment that serves members and other people without making profits. Typically “member-serving organisations benefit a particular group of people who are the members of the organisation” (McMillan, 2004, p.34). The operational nature of the non-profit organisation is define din the ethos of the interactions of the entities that define the system and interactions with the members and the stakeholders. Typically, each idea that is contributed by the experts of change and other positive contributions inform the ethos of transformation. Here, different parts of the ethos that are defined in the structure and operations of the non-profit organisation such as the internal controls that need to be modified to respond to the dynamics and demands of the external environment interact to make up an entire system that is complete.

It is progressively focused and responsive to occurrences. Hence, the study proposed an approach to elucidate some of the measures that non-profit organisations may espouse to help them cope with the dynamic world. Woodside (2010) applied systemic reasoning in his research. He argues “The logic of the problem is not the logic of the solution” (Woodside, 2010, p. 17). As a result, he advocates the establishment of problem-solving techniques based on novel and contemporary logic. Organisational ethos plays a significant role during change discharge. Dostal (2005) alleges, “The ethos is the core of an organisation….describes the organisation’s culture, values, the guiding principles and beliefs, and the underlying information according to which the system evolves” (p. 60). Gratton (2004) explains how ethos influences organisational change. In her literature, she insists on the importance of considering ethos during brand development. Additionally, Gratton (2004) identifies the different forms of philosophies and how they might influence organisational transformation. Hence, the proposal will use Dostal and Gratton’s literature to formulate strategies for dealing with ethos during organisational transformation.

Ethos has been established to be the tool that represents the destiny of the organisation. In the context of the internal controls that need to be modified, ethos works in respect of the policies and procedures that define the rules and the approaches used to guard the assets of the organisation, accuracy in the reports of the organisation, reliable financial accounting, and the need to comply with the laws and regulations that govern the sector and other sectors within the fraternity.

The ethos or credibility of the system enables organisational managers and the change agents to modify the organisation from its current state to a future state by focusing on modifying its characteristics, development potential, and by defining what the system does and how activities within the system are done by providing a vision on what is intended to be achieved (McMillan, 2004). The relevance of the ethos in the context of internal changes and controls is reflected in procedures for handling funds that the organisation receives and how to spend the money, informing the top management and stakeholders of the financial status of the organisation, proper procedures for conducting annual audits of the organisation, continuous evaluation of the performance of the organisation, determining the skills and knowledge competencies of the organisation, determining the right staff programs to use, putting in place staff records and ensuing that the policies and procedures for executing tasks and responsibilities are relevant to the needs of the organisation.

The entire paradigm of ethos is to ensure staff, the managers and those who are responsible for running the organisation get involved in recreating the system (McMillan, 2004). In each case of the ethos system, a transformation of both the natural system using the laws of nature, and in social system ethos that is perpetuated through the processes of enculturation and socialisation to transfer the values and beliefs of the entire system. However, the ethos multidimensional nature of the Biomatrix structure provides the guiding principles and values for transforming the organisation from its current non-profit functional nature to a non-profit functional nature that generates profits and works as a profit based organisation. In each case, the psycho-socio-sphere enables the management and the people working for the organisation to drive it towards a new operational paradigm in different dimensions. The dimensions include cultural, economic, political, and technological dimensions.

In the dimensional perspectives of the transformation ethos, it has been established that strategic approach enables managers and those responsible for change such as the stakeholders to develop the right perspectives about the status of the change process (McMillan, 2004). According to Mullins (2007), the change process in the context of the study must be temporal depending on the transition state of the organisation. The temporal perspective is based on a description of the dynamic changes that the system undergoes with time based on the perspective of an ideal current and future state of the system. It is imperative to note that when the system has been transformed from its current to the future state, it reflects the salient features of the past state that has been transformed into the future state. However, in theory, it is argued that the future state is reflected in the past state of the organisation. However those responsible for change must ensure that the transition of the system depends on other systems that are external to the system being changed (Osborne & Brown, 2011).

In context, a non-profit organisation relies on external systems such as donors, financial resources, and those who benefit from the services offered by the non-profit organisation. Typically, the inherent characteristics of a system such as behaviours, structures, values and beliefs provide the basis for the dynamic translation of a system into the future state. Typically, the operations of non-profit organisations are based on the beliefs, behavior patterns, values, and beliefs that define the nature of the operations that happen within the institutions. It is important to note that the results of the operations of the current system are dependent on the behavior of the external systems, the problems, and challenges that affect the external systems because systems are co-produced and co-exist in the same environment (Osborne & Brown, 2011). It is possible that the changes that happen within the external system such as financial changes and other co-factors that are mutually interdependent affect the operations of the non-profit organisation (Osborne & Brown, 2011). Researchers have noted that among the problems that have adversely affected the financial contributions made by the stakeholders include the deteriorating economic status of many people, limited and dwindling income levels, and competition from other non-profit organisations that depend on donations from people with uncertain financial backgrounds.

However, it has been recommended that some of the important problems non-profit organisations encounter when bringing about change include a clear comprehension of the change process and the difference between the current structure and the intended structure and how to work towards that future (Osborne & Brown, 2011). The future or actual system state illustrates how each component within the system works interactively to achieve the new status of the organisation. The actual and prescribed structure and the structure problems of the old organisation are critical in contributing to the effectiveness of the change process.


Holbeche (2009) who had specialised in the field of organisational development argues in his literature the skills and knowledge that managers should have before they embark on change discharge. A large volume of leadership approaches to change have been written that can be adopted by managers trying to lead change. Leading changes has been and is the work of managers has been demonstrated as a hallmark for successful companies. The role of the leader or manager of the non-profit organisation is to keep the organisation as relevant as possible and be relevant to the new changes that happen in the operating environment that have evidently happened today. Changes that have happened include sourcing for funds in a competitive environment and leading change among the members of the organisation (Osborne & Brown, 2011). In addition, the leadership must take the responsibility to work and establish the changing patterns that happen in the dynamics of the operating environment, develop awareness of the new realities that affect the operating environment and the organisational management operating procedures, and provision of opportunities for employees to work towards the success of the organisation.

According to Liao and Wu (2010), the key leadership concept that fits into the leadership management process includes systematic leadership style. Systematic leadership provides managers with the ability to wrest with issues and positively track and enable the organisation positively respond into the changing realities of the current environment (Pascale, Millemann & Gioja, 2000). Here, the plurality in the context of the numerous people of the society has been identified as the core element that defines the leadership style that authors recommend to the appropriate to lead change. Systematic leadership has been recommended by many scholars who argue that the world operates in an age of inter-connectivity among cultures, nations, groups, and societies that require the leader to recognise the value tension that exists in such an environment (Liao & Wu, 2010). Scholars argue that the systematic leadership style enables those in the management positions whose responsibility is to lead change to achieve their leadership goals in an integrative and holistic way.

Systematic leadership

According to Todnem (2005), systematic leadership style is defined by a system thinking approach, which allows the entire non-profit organisation to work in an internal environment consisting of workers and managers and the external environment which consists of stakeholders and the operating environment amicably towards achieving new goals and objectives. The changing natures of the internal and external environments are a reality that systematic leaders use to modify the nature of the operations of organisations and its internal structures.

It has been noted that the appropriateness of the leadership that can help lead change is based on empirical evidence that is adduced form observations, the plurality of what is seen in the operating environment, and the perspectives of reality of what is occurring in the environment. According to Liao and Wu (2010), the perspectives must, in the context of the current study factor financial resources that are used to run the day to day operations of the non-profit institutions. In each case of the transformation process, Liao and Wu (2010) noted that it that leadership must focus on the adaptive strategies that enable the non-profit institution to adapt to the new financial operating environment of limited resources and donor finding.

Woodside (2010) contends that the characteristics of leaders who enable change within an organisation are defined by the ability to steer the organisation into a continuous learning path based on knowledge of the values that necessitated change and the reasons that lead to the resistance to change. A skilled leader has the ability to apply the knowledge acquired to implement the change process efficiently despite that change being a complex process that does not occur once, but happens gradually. To be relevant to the change process, the leadership must acknowledge the fact that change is a process which requires the inclusion and use of teams to make change to happen. However, Woodside (2010) contends that the assumption that a leader can work alone to make change to happen is a litany of empty promises that leads to failed expectations because the perception that everything is under the leader is entirely wrong. In each case of the change process, group dynamics plays a significant role in bringing and supporting the change process.

Characteristics of systematic leadership

Systematic leadership fits well into the transformational process because of its characteristics and the need to transform the non-profit organisations. Schein (2010) notes that systematic leadership is the right leadership style to adopt because it defines the characteristics of the leaders who aim to make change that are defined in the transformational leadership theory. However, Schein (2010) argues that leadership that aims to bring change into a non-profit organisation should not be completely based on the transformational leadership characteristics, but must be slightly modified into the transformational leadership style that factors shared motives and goals, invites people within the organisation to participate in the change process, and advances shared motives among the employees within the organisation.

Schein (2010) argues that in each case of the change process, the leadership assures the stakeholders of the ability to drive the organisation to higher moral grounds by operating with the realities of change that sometimes affect and confronts the values and tensions that happen within the change process. Self-awareness, values, organisational culture, and trying to establish the meaning of self are fundamental elements in the change process that managers need to factor when implementing change.

Leading change based on systematic leadership strategies provides the management and those that are involved in the change process the abilities to implement change by engaging in the tasks that address adaptive challenge’s that affect the change team (Schein, 2010). Adaptive challenges happen when new realities start to dawn on the employees and the management structures that new values are about to be introduced into the organisation that define new operations. Here, it is important to redefine the operations and transform them into new realities at the individual and organisational levels. It is crucial for the leader or the manager of a non-profit organisation to understand that systematic leadership is not based on a leader’s traits and characteristics, but on the activities done by the leader to transform the organisation from the current nature of its activities of a non-profit organisation to one that makes profits (Schein, 2010). However, to make profits in an environment with several organisations that compete for funds from the same donors are critical for the survival of the organisation.

It has been noted in extant literature that systematic leadership should not be strictly aligned with a specific leadership style because some of the approaches to the leadership style deviate from the classical reasoning that underpins most leadership styles (Schein, 2010). It has been proposed that different institutions and cultures require customised systematics leadership styles to implement change. It is possible for the manager of a non-profit organisation to differentiate the leadership approach by creating an environment that fosters a systematic leadership approach that entails reflecting new realities and the ability of the employees and the management to adapt to the new realities that require necessitate the change process (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). It is important for the leader or the manager to be able to read the present and understand the need for change clearly.

A leader who directs the change process under the systematic leadership style must develop unique skill that makes them to fit the change process. Vecchiato and Roveda (2010) among notable researchers reviewed the skills required for systematic leaders and proposed that self-awareness was crucial because it enabled the mangers to define the emotions that affect the leader, being mindedness of others and a high degree of attentiveness as critical elements of the study. Self-awareness enables attentiveness to the changes that happen in the leadership environment, curiosity and the desire to move to higher levels of thinking, and the ability to persevere and address the challenges that arise with the new changes. In each case, a leader must express self-confidence and be able to show genuine care of others. The key elements that define the leader include stamina, capacity to take risks and address the risks, conflict resolution capabilities, and patience, intellect, and string people skills.

Leadership competencies that have been widely proposed as defining the systematic leader courage, self-awareness, ability to mobilise the people, self-effacing disposition, the systematic system thinking abilities, process orientation, ability to frame reality and passion of people and emotional intelligence. Success in systematic leadership is based on the people’s abilities to implement change and act as the change agents. In each case, the capacities of the people involved in the change process are the key components for effecting the change and not their capabilities (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). The radical departure from relying on the capacities and not capabilities has not been explained and the distinguishing elements made clear, but capacity has been shown to emphasise on the technical skills that include physical dexterity and intellectual acuity as the main elements to focus on. On the other hand, capacity is defined in the context of power and experience. Capacity emanates from the inner potential and the ability to learn and change.

Researchers agree that effective leadership is an essential component that creates opportunities for the people to exercise their abilities and positively participate in the change process (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). In each case of the change process that involves the people, the change manager is able to transform the people’s capacity into the technical skills required to bring about change. Change is based on various tasks that define the characteristics of the leader.

Leadership change management tasks

The key component tasks that define the characteristics of the leader include adaptive work (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). Adaptive work necessitates the leader to work with the adaptive challenges, and preparing the teams to respond to the challenges. In each case of responding to the change process, the leader must devote time and be committed to the change process by using the activities that are reframed by targeting group members under a capable leader to respond to the changes that have been implemented. A leader who initiates and implements change is characterised by the ability to identify new realities that happen in the operating by supporting employees and the organisations to respond to the new realities of change and work towards aligning the organisation to respond to the realties (Wang & Strong, 2004). The wind of change must be evident within the organisation to allow the organisation to operate as one that makes profit and depart from the classical thinking that defines non-profit organisations.

It has been suggested that systematic leadership must identify and name adaptive challenges that happen within the organisation because much of academic literature and evidence based studies have shown that new realities act as sources of new values (Schein, 2010). According to Schein (2010), the key persons include stakeholders, the managers, employees, and teams that exist within the organisation. In addition, community members, competitor such as those organisations that compete for funds and other resources with non-profit organisations, must be involved into the reality testing process.

On the other hand, once the manager has identified the strategic direction to change the organisation from its current state to a future state, it is possible to identify what to do and what not to do (Gustavson, 200). In addition, the approach enables the manager to develop a deep insight on what is to be done in terms of identifying the degree of resistance and what should be done to address the resistance to change (Todnem, 2005). In addition, the process involves a stakeholder analysis that reveals the needs of various stakeholders such as customer of the non-profit organisation and those who benefit from the organisation (Armenakis & Harris, 2009). The adaptive process demands that the leader develops learning strategies required for adaptive change and that requires a new mind-set, new values and beliefs, new ways of doing things, and new approaches of becoming competent.

It has been established that distress often arises among the members of the organisation and it is imperative that the leadership puts in place strategies to deal with such distress (Armenakis & Harris, 2009). It is crucial for the leadership to find new ways to address distress situations by listening to what others have to contribute to the change process, address the problems that arise with the new changes, minor and understand the new behaviours, and have the ability to understand the stress and strain the employee experience (Osborne & Brown, 2011). Osborne and Brown (2011) proposed the importance of the leadership to make constructive interventions to keep the members on track about the change process.

Behaviour modification

One of the areas of competency that organisations strive to address is behavioural element in the change process. Behavioural modification is the strategic approach of implementing change is by shifting the behavior of the entire system, referred to as the organisational behavior to reflect the new change (Holbeche, 2009). Individual or collective behavior that is referred to as organisational behavior is based on the highly complex nature of the people and the systems that make the non-profit organisation such as financial controls such as the people at the operational and management level and the control structures (Holbeche, 2009). However, it is crucial to note that transforming behavior cannot occur at the level of the individual only, but throughout the organisation because an organisation is an entity that exhibits certain unique behaviours. The typical behavioural paradigms that need to be changed with the organisation are at the individual, group, and organisational levels.

Here, individual and systems are put in place to modify the behaviour of the employees and those in the management structure to be in the behavioural change continuum (Holbeche, 2009). The new behavior must reflect the desired change because it is a behavioural approach to management that factors behavioural change as a key component of managing change. Here, behavior within the non-profit organisation is not limited to the individual only, but includes group and organisational levels. In the context at the individual level, Burnes (2004) argued that change happens by modifying the perceptions about how to run the day to day activities within the non-profit organisation, the financial control and reporting relationships within the organisation, and the strategies to use to control and allocate the resources (McDermott & O’dell, 2001). In addition to that, learning, needs, creativity, stress, behaviours, attitudes, and motivation provide the baseline strategies for behavioural change at the individual level.

At the individual level, perception occur that show how individuals within the organisation develop their perceptions or cognitive responses to change and how the individual contributes to the change process. Perceptions make people understand the environmental milieu and uniquely interpret the non-profit environment in the context of operations that focus on the financial control mechanism that occur within the organisation (McDermott & O’dell, 2001). Behaviour is inherently driven by perceptions and to modify and cause behavioural change through the process of selection, organisation, and interpretation of information to effect change (Castiglione, 2008). It is important to note that external and internal factors affect the perception process and internal factors include the intensity, which is the level of urgency that is inculcated in a person on the need to participate in the change process,

The systems, procedures, job design, accounting and financial controls, and structures are modified before the change is implemented and the organisation takes a new look (Castiglione, 2008). Once the new changes have been introduced and implemented, it has been proposed under the Lewin model that the new change should be refrozen by rewarding the employees, demonstrating their contributions and the benefits the contributions make towards the institution.

However, change does not occur once but happens gradually and the change process can only become effective if it occurs along the way. Such a position has been supported by a large volume of research studies in academia and suggestions put it that the Lewin model among other models can be modified to reflect the change process that factors specific steps.

In each steps of the change process, it has been noted that establishing the need for changes is an imperative step towards enabling employee to understand that change is inevitable (Davies, Nutley & Mannion, 2000). The facts such as the financial operations of non-profit organisations, the sources of funds, and the financial controls required for the operations of the organisation need to be explained.

Studies have revealed that the change process becomes effective when an organisational picture has been established of the new look organisation. The mission and vision statements are established and taught everyone in the organisation (Davies, Nutley & Mannion, 2000). The vision statement is taught everyone to understand their roles towards contributing to the success of the change process. The change process must be that which can be achieved at the management and operational levels. The effectiveness of the change process becomes effective when the current state of the organisation that is problematic has been diagnosed and those systems and procedures that need to be changed considered appropriately (Woodside, 2010). Other subsequent steps that follow include generating change recommendations after the diagnosis has been done, evaluating the recommendations for change piloting the change process, rolling out the recommended change, and implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of the change process.

Change for competitive advantage

The choice that the organisation makes determines the extent and level of competence that is achieved through the workers and the management vis-à-vis the competitors in an environment where organisations compete for meagre resources (McMillan, 2004). It has been noted that transformational change presents change management strategies that provide details on how the new structure will look like and the basic characteristics that define the new organisations (McMillan, 2004). The rationale is that non-profit organisations operate in a competitive environment and change is the only tool that will assure the managers and those responsible for running the organisation including stakeholders that introducing the change will transform the organisation and its operations to more productive and efficient ways to operate.

Woodside (2010) argues that introducing the change process into the organisation is crucial because the several environmental factors such as changing the approaches used to generate money to run the organisation must be adopted as a key strategy. Jones (2010) asserts that for each case of the transformation process, it is mandatory for change to be introduced gradually because sharp changes that have occurred in other economic environments have shown evidence of failure of the change management frameworks. Jones (2010) suggests that such situations demand the use effective change management and organisational development strategies to be successful.

However, it has been suggested that change aimed at competitive advantage is crucial because it provides managers and other change agents with the right criteria to implement change (Jones, 2010). Among the areas that have been noted to respond to the need for change include the management, processes, structures, and other resources that are used within the organisation (Nakamura et al., 2010). Researchers recommend that the changes that happen should reflect managerial flexibility to allocate and reallocate resources, structure the operations of the organisation, and enable the structures to maintain financial capacity over time to be able to serve the high need communities and individuals that subscribe to the organisation (Nakamura et al., 2010). Sustainability must be ensured for both in the short term and the long term to enable the organisation maintain its level of service provision and be able to increase the level of service provision over time.

On the other hand, competitive change is the one that brings about uniqueness to the services and products that are offered by an organisation. The services are designed to offer better value to the members if the change process which defines the new structures is difficult to imitate by other external sources. In addition, it has been proposed that change can only be made systematic and not a onetime process. Typically, the key features that managers need to identify in the change process include the use of relevant units of analysis that include strategic orientation of the organisation to the new structures, a strategic change management plan that provides a framework for managers to execute the change process to ensure that the change management processes can be repeated to be evidently used for competitive advantage (Nakamura et al., 2010). In addition, the uniqueness of the change management process is made evident in the individuals and groups that are made part of the change management plan. In each case of the change process, the strategic plan can be only implemented by following a change management framework that factors strategy, structure, and work design.

Strategy is fundamental because it enables organisational managers to identify the best practises to utilise the financial resources that are made available for the non-profit organisation and the ability to control then resources effectively.

Resistance to change

Resistance to change is bound to happen within an organisation committed to transforming its operations, culture, beliefs, values, and perceptions into a new realm of operations (Davies, Nutley & Mannion, 2000). Resistance to change becomes evident when employee behaviour is exhibited that seeks to disrupt the processes and normal operations of an organisation and leads to the less commitment by employees and intimidating challenges to the management wanting to introduce change. Different reasons have been suggested as the underlying causes of the resistance to change. Dostal (2005) provides empirical evidence showing that when employee get entrenched in the fear of the unknown, they are likely to register a high degree of resistance to change because they are not sure of the future. On the other hand, some employees do not want to part with self-ego but want to keep up with their personal agendas and maintain the status quo (Gustavsen, 2004).

The result is that those employees who find that they are acting in self-interest find it difficult to accept change and be part of the change process, leading to resistance to change. Researchers have suggested that some employees might have developed the fear of failure, when new technologies and job descriptions are introduced into the organisation. In addition, when communication problems are bound to happen within the organisation, the results cause résistance to change to be manifested within the members of the organisation. Communication is important because it enables the managers to share ideas clearly among the change agents including employees and stakeholders. Other element’s that have been proposed to cause resistance to change include cultural assumptions and values (Gratton, 2004). Cultural “values and assumptions can impede change when they seem foreign to the employees” (Gratton, 2004, p.10). In addition, many employees sometimes lack trust among themselves and that contributes a significant deal to the resistance to change.

Addressing resistance to change

It has been suggested in academic literature that resistance to change can be overcome by putting in place a good communication channel to clearly share ideas with the employees and all those involved in the change process. The entire communication idea on the change process must be communicated and the rationale behind the change explained in the communication (Gratton, 2004). In addition, the idea on change must be provided in an accurate and timely manner and must be communicated in an open manner to ensure that the idea is open and beneficial to the employees. Empirical evidence has suggested that change can be positively effective if the employees are taken through a training and development program that makes them aware of the need for change. In addition, it is possible to dissipate some fears of the unknown and motivate employees to work as change agents by educating them on the need for the change process. In addition, participation in the change process at the employee and management levels adds the confidence inspired into the change process (Gratton, 2004). Gratton (2004) notes that explaining the employees the content of the change management plan falls within the jurisdiction of the leadership or the organisational manager.

It has been researched and suggested that change at the individual and group levels are crucial to enhance employee involvement in the change process. However, when change is done at the group level, studies show that it becomes effective because the group members get attracted to the change process. It is possible for the group to exert pressure on other members to comply with the change process (Holbeche, 2009). In addition, it is suggested that the management and group leaders should encourage interactions among the group members and the change process should be anchored on a change model that has been widely used and proved to work effectively. One of the change models that has been widely used and proved to work is Lewin’s three step change model. The model enables the managers to model the change process into three basic steps, which include preparing employees to accept, and be ready for change after which the change process is executed and making the change permanent (Holbeche, 2009). The factors and forces that affect change must be factored into the change process. Here, the driving “forces that push the change process in the direction of change must be allowed to take course” (Holbeche, 2009, p.23) while “restraining forces must be minimised as much as possible to raise or lower the equilibrium to ensure that the direction of change is achievable” (Holbeche, 2009, p.23). Change can be made practical as has been demonstrated by various case studies that inform the current study.

Change management models

Change can only be meaningful if the transformation leads to the achievement of organisational goals and objectives that have been revised to be consistent with the new vision for change. Different models have been suggested for change. Researchers have classified the models into two broad categories, which include the trickle down approach and the identity search model (Davies, Nutley & Mannion, 2000). The trickle down model is proposed and implemented by the top level management in response to the need of new approaches to doing things, new technologies, systems and structures. On the other hand, the identity model is based in the desire for change within the individuals working for an organisation and the change models can be embodied in either the top down classical approach or the bottom up approach.

Each of the change management approach has been studied in details for managers to adopt and several suggestions have been made based on an analysis of the models. According to the system approach of change, it has been established to be imperative for the organisations and its managers to embrace the process and structure approaches to change (Davies, Nutley & Mannion, 2000). A combination of structure and process approaches have been suggested to be useful change paradigms because the organisational activities carried out in the context of the paradigms enable the managers and employees to conduct the day to day activities, functions, procedures, and strategies to achieve equilibrium status (Nakamura et al., 2010). Researchers have suggested that process based change management strategies enable the managers to modify employee behaviour, attitude, culture, interpersonal relationships, and intra-group relationships and better communication relationships and styles.

The results based on the use of the paradigm have shown drastic changes in teamwork, system maintenance and culture change. The typically, the structural intervention strategies have shown are designed to change certain components of the system such as reward systems, job design, accounting control systems, and performance management systems (McDermott & O’dell, 2001). In each case of the structural change management in strategies, both the process and structural approaches can be handled together to make the change process more effective. It is possible to implement change by creating a better fit between the current state of the organisation and its environmental demands to make it able to positively respond to the new changes in new environment.

It is important to note that new processes, procedures, systems, and organisational structures are required for a non-profit organisation to respond to the cost cutting changes, to adapt to the new cost structures and new management approaches (McDermott & O’dell, 2001). The responses to change are further reinforced by the need to further organisational growth and competencies, structural changes, and to respond to the power controls within the organisation. Effectiveness in team management can only be affected by conducting a system analysis by examining the internal and external environments and identify the structural approaches that help support the change process effectively (Burnes, 2004). Some of the specific change models that have been suggested include process, content, and integrative models.

Lewin’s change model

Lewin’s model gives an explicit approach to organisational transformation. Archer (2000) uses Lewin’s model to elaborate the success of organisational change. She asserts that, “change occurs when forces that support organisation’s stable behaviour are modified” (Archer, 2000, p. 18). Lewin’s model has been classified among those earlier models of planned change. The core defining forces of the model is the ability for the managers to modify those forces that are used to stabilise the overall behavior of the system that is influenced by the need to strive and bring about change and for maintaining the status quo.

Hence, this research relied on Lewin’s model to identify measures that help to transform non-profit organisations. Lewin gives three-stage processes, which are critical to organisational transformation. The research draws on the three levels of change that are based on individual, structural, and system level of change to establish how non-profit institutions can realise changes. Lewin’s model is flexible. Consequently, it is easy to modify the model compared to other transformation models. One of the drawbacks of Lewin’s model is that it is “based on small scale samples, and more importantly, it is based on the assumption that organisations act under constant conditions that can be taken into consideration and planned for” (Todnem, 2005, p. 367). Therefore, the project has come up with ways of using Lewin’s theory to solve problems involving large scale samples. Besides, it tries to figure out how Lewin’s theory can be modified to address unpredictable and rapid changes.

The three level of change that have been proposed in the Lewin model consist of the individual level that has been noted to be where the management, structures, procedures, processes, and system structures respond to changes that affect the attitudes, behavior, and beliefs, values, skills, and behaviours (Burnes, 2004). On the other hand, the structural level includes those changes that respond to incentives and information systems that affect change and the organisational level includes those changes that affect the style of leadership, decision-making strategies, and the interposal relationships.

The three levels of change are affected by Lewin’s three critical steps of the change process, which include the unfreezing, moving change, and refreezing change (Castiglione, 2008). It has been demonstrated in various change context that change can only occur and be effective if the forces that help keep the structure of the present status of the organisation are removed, the unfreezing of the change process leads to individuals getting information about the change process and the desired behaviour. In addition, the unfreezing level leads the organisation to determine the right management approaches and practises and the methods that can be used to understand the discrepancies of the current and desired behaviours (Castiglione, 2008). In each case, the change process enables those who are responsible for implementing change to attune the entire organisation to the need for change and to positively respond to the change process.

It is important for managers of non-profit organisations to work through the unfreezing process to generate change through three processes that have shown empirical evidence that positive result can be achieved (Castiglione, 2008). One of the steps is to ensure disconfirmation where members of the non-profit organisation realise that the need for change is necessary and get motivated to work for change. It is possible as has been demonstrated by many researchers that when change starts, many people do not readily accept the change but tend to oppose the change process (Burnes, 2004). However, in theory, disconfirmation has shown evidence of being the cause of quasi-equilibria status that affects the change process because it arouses in the change agents the anxiety for change.

Burnes (2004) suggested that that management should take the responsibility to develop a change management process that factors anxiety into the change process to ensure that the people involved in the change process do not experience stress related problems that arise when people become anxious of the effects of change on their lives. It is imperative to assure the people that the change process will not adversely affect them so that they become part of the change process by abandoning their past attitudes and experiences and embracing the new state of things (Castiglione, 2008). Here, the whole process is summed up in the cognitive restructuring process to motive the employees at the management and operational levels, the group, individual and organisational levels to learn new things with regard to the beliefs, values, thought processes, and feelings that have positive impact on the sematic definition, cognitive broadening to enable the workers and the management to broaden the transformation concept and to develop new standards of judgement and comparisons (Castiglione, 2008). Empirical evidence shows that an organisation can become successful if other models that focus on content are factored into the transformational process.

Content models

It has been widely noted among researchers that the planned change models have serious weaknesses that include the inability to focus on detail, but generalise the change process calling for the need to integrate content as a practicum of the content based change model.

The effectiveness of the content model is that it allows the researcher to factor system and effective change variables into the change process that affects the entire organisation (Castiglione, 2008). Various studies show that the content model based on system variables includes environmental variables, the technical system and the formula structures and inputs into the transformation process. The effective variables on the other hand include achievements, need satisfaction and dissatisfaction, cooperation, and destructive conflicts.

Factors that hinder the change process

She identifies two groups of forces that contend with one another during organisational transformation. Her literature gives astute information on how organisations can deal with the two forces. Therefore, the study relied on Archer’s research to identify forces that might conflict during change implementation in non-profit organisations. Besides, it will adopt Archer’s solutions. The main challenge with Archer’s literature is that the answers she gives are theoretical. She does not give an account of cases where the solutions were proofed successful. Hence, rather than endorsing Archer’s solutions as the ultimate solution to change management, the proposal will use them jointly with solutions obtained from other literatures.

Case study

Several case studies have been reported on different media outlets and articles on how non-profit organisations have been transformed into profit making institutions (McMillan, 2004). According to Bouckenooghe (2010), the management and stakeholder roles have been highlighted and the strategies for initiating and managing the change process in various contexts that have been demonstrated in the study. Among the institutions that have informed the study include the RAND Corporation, International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), Group Therapy, Group Training, Group Facilitation (CGPA), and the Hearing Foundation of Canada (THFC), Windfall among others (Cummings & Worley, 2014). A synthesis of the case studies was conducted by identifying the core elements that were necessary for inclusion into the change process that happened within different organisations.

Empirical evidence speaks volumes of how non-organisations were able to transform their organisations into profit making organisations driven by the economic challenges that were common across the ten non-profit organisations that were investigated. Many of the challenges that were evident among non-profit organisations include increasing competition for funds from the same donors because of the increasing number of non-profit organisations competing for the same funds, which compelled the organisations to restructure their institutional structures to adequately respond the new challenges and make them to sustain their operations. According to Jaros (2010), reliance on donors based financing on contract funding was a significant problem among the Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), Group Therapy, Group Training, Group Facilitation (CGPA), RAND Corporation, and International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), and Group Therapy non-profit organisations. Among the problems associated with contract funding include inability to retain staff after the expiry of the funding contract, declining employee morale, high turnover among the employees, and the unpredictable shifting of employee responsibilities to new jobs leading to a decline in employee motivation.

Restructuring through change management strategies were evident when the NICARAO, one of the non-profit organisations wanted to transform into a profit making organisation. The first approach was to communicate the need for changes across the organisation in clear and explicit terms. However, other organisations varied in their approach to instituting change by first creating a change management teams was evident with RAND Corporation. However, organisations including Group Therapy, Group Training, Group Facilitation (CGPA), The Hearing Foundation of Canada (THFC), and the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) adopted a common strategy of conducting a feasibility study based on market research investigations to understand the correct nature of the market and capability assessment of bringing about the change. On the other hand, the Rand Corporation that was interested on improving its programmatic and financial sustainability undertook an internal and external assessment of the challenges that the organisation was facing, the current and potential sources of funds and the communities that were served by the organisation (Morrison & Milliken, 2000). The results showed some radical difference on how each organisation approached the change process, but a common ground that was established showed that most of the organisations started the change process by conducting a market analysis and feasibility of staring the change process.

Among the key challenges that were identified and consistent with the change management strategies was to identify the risks associated with over-reliance of external funding sources and streams. It is crucial to note that non-profit organisation that operates in the USA draw their funds from government and private institutions to sustain their operations (Vecchiato & Roveda, 2010). However, not all organisations benefit that way, leading to the high competition for funds. It is equally important to note that most funding from the government and other intuitions has reduced significantly because of unfolding economic difficulties around the globe and competition from other institutions asking for the same funds.

The next strategy that was adopted by the RAND Corporation was to conduct a market research, a strategy that was common among many other organisations that were investigated on their change management strategies. The marketing and branding efforts were tagged as preludes to a successful change management strategy because of the evidence that the approach provided the mangers with the ability to develop the right internal and external communication plan. The rationale was to develop a brand that communicated the mission and vision of the non-profit organisation.

A radical departure from the perspective of concentrating on brand marketing was adopted by NICARAO, which focused on synopsis of the organisation’s history to the employees in the quest to prepare them to work towards the success of the transformation. The strategy focused on integrating technology in the form of a strong Management Information System (MIS) to manage the growing portfolio of the organisation, minimise the operating costs, and increase the loan operations efficacy to meet the increasing demand from customers. The organisation focused on empowering the change manager to lead the change process based on a sustainable development program that was consistent with the approach employed by the RAND Corporation.

However, the change process initiated among the organisations showed a significant decline in employee morale at each phase of the change process. However, Group Therapy, RAND Corporation and International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) reported a counter measures such as establishing communication strategies to make the employees aware and counter the high attrition rates for leaving the organisation.


The study used a case study design to come up with information about how non-profit organisations can transform into financially viable institutions. Hesse-Biber and Leavy (2010) claimed that a “case study does not claim any particular method for data collection or data analysis” (p. 29). By drawing on a case study, the researcher will gather novel information, evaluate them and gain insights on the question under investigation. The proposal does not aim to experiment any theory. Instead, it will investigate ten non-profit organisations to determine how they are transforming into financially viable institutions, and what should be done to help them achieve their objectives. The reason for selecting ten institutions is to warrant that the research gathers sufficient data within the available duration. One advantage of case studies is that they emphasise particularisation and uniqueness rather than generalisation (Merriam, 2000). Besides, case studies strive to understand the situation, but not to distinguish it from others. Therefore, the researcher will hoard different findings from various non-profit organisations and later compare the results to come up with a comprehensive report.

Cases studies are classified according to subject orientation (Hesse-Biber & Leavy, 2010). The study treated the case of non-profit organisations as an “action research case study, utilising knowledge from the Biomatrix framework” (Hesse-Biber & Leavy, 2010, p. 27). To satisfactorily examine the situation and come up with viable solutions, researcher examined the holistic knowledge of the environment of non-profit organisations, which make up the range of the study. According to Yin (2010), the term, researchers’ “equality of status” refers those who participate in the study. The equality of status insists that opinions of those involved in research should be treated as core to the research activity. In case of the non-profit organisations, the views of the participants were, considered core to this study. The study assumed that all participants responded to research questions to the best of their understanding and experience.

Data Collection

Action research is a multi-method research (Yin, 2010). Therefore, this study used different modes of data collection based on the required information. In this investigation, data was comprehensively collected. The study collected primary data through group and private interviews and participant observation (Russell, 2005). The researcher, with the help of leaders from the chosen non-profit organisations, selected respondents from workers that were organised into group and private interviews. The study used questionnaires to gather information from group and private interviews. Respondents were given time to react to different questions concerning the challenges they encounter in the attempts to convert their organisations to financially workable institutions (Yin, 2010). Besides, they will get a chance to brainstorm and suggest some of the changes that their institutions can implement to overcome the challenges. Questions will be framed in unstructured mode to allow the participants to make clarifications on their responses.

The study also applied the policy of active participation to gather uniform information. Investigator were actively involved in data collection after duration of intense observation to familiarise themselves with the data collection procedures. The investigator will identify five non-profit organisations from the selected sample and organise for site visits to observe what transpires within the organisations. The five organisations will be identified based on the measures they have taken to switch to financially viable institutions and the duration they have implemented the measures (Russell, 2005). The study will use this method to “Enhance the possibility of subjectivity of the research and complicate it to avert researcher provoked biases” (Woodside, 2010, p. 44). Woodside (2010) asserted that “subjectivity is not seen as a failing needing to be eliminated but as an essential element of understanding” (p. 45). The researcher will regularly assume neutral positions to limit biases.

In addition, the researcher will gather secondary data from peer-reviewed journals and books. A key focus will be put on gathering of data from sources hailing from varied dimensions in search for a pattern and uniformity. Secondary data will mainly be collected from peer-reviewed journals and books that tackle the topic of organisational change and development. Additionally, the study will use anecdotes compiled by organisational leaders detailing challenges encountered during corporate transformation. This will serve to supplement primary data collected from the field.

Data Analysis

The study used a combination of ground theory, quasi-statistics and hermeneutical methods to analyse data. Ground theory was used to facilitate the interpretation of data that was gathered from secondary sources. Researcher was focused on pointers of categories in behavioural phenomena. The pointers were coded, and the codes compared to determine differences and consistencies. Consistencies between codes were facilitated to establish categories of different trends and behaviours. The analysis was stopped when no more classes could be obtained, and core and axial categories determined from the identified groups. As aforementioned, the study was sued to gather data from different sources in search for consistency. Therefore, it was a quasi-statistic method of data analysis used to achieve the desired results. The researcher calculated the number of times particular challenges or measures were pointed out by various participants to determine their frequency. The researcher then enumerated the challenges and measures to establish categories. In addition, the study used quasi-statistic method in collaboration with the ground theory to determine if observations were altered.

The study was subjective. It was used to analyse the findings and come up with solutions based on the situations that non-profit organisations go through. Final solutions were reached based on information obtained from the respondents and secondary sources. Therefore, the study utilised hermeneutic analysis to analyse data gathered from the respondents. The researcher tried to take a neutral ground when interpreting the data. The analysis relied on participants’ responses. The analysis used a number of layers of interpretation and compared them with information collected from secondary sources. Additionally, the researcher used context to have a clear picture of the non-profit organisations.

Implementation Plan

For a qualitative study to be successful, the researchers prepared carefully and carried out the research systematically. It was imperative to have a lucid plan of when to start and end the project because it enabled the researcher to allocate adequate time for each activity (Bryman, 2004). The study involved a number of activities, which include organising for site visits, preparing questionnaires, holding group and private interviews and studying secondary data among others (Myers & Newman, 2007). All these activities were completed within a period of six months, and the findings compiled. The study started with a thorough preparation, which took a maximum of 20 days. Preparation also involved selecting non-profit organisations and secondary sources to use for the research. Additionally, it entailed looking for the necessary research materials and financial resources to facilitate the research process.

The next activity was to prepare questionnaires for use in the study. The activity took 21 days to complete. The researcher conducted a will pilot study of the questionnaires to find out if they captured the needed information. Therefore, preparation of questionnaires was done hand-in-hand with identification of a sample group to use for the pilot study. The results that were gathered from the sample group helped to structure final questionnaires that were used in the actual study. The purpose of the pilot study was to help the researcher to identify the best non-profit organisations to use for the study. The activity was followed by site visits to inform organisational leaders about the researcher’s intention to carry out research in their companies and seek authorisation. Upon authorisation, the researcher started to identify respondents and seek their consent before furnishing them with questionnaires. This process took 40 days. The activity required adequate time since the researcher was required to move from one non-profit organisation to the other. Besides, the researcher needed to create time to familiarise the respondents with the study and convince them that the survey observed respect and privacy.

The researcher started by organising for group and private interviews immediately after coming up with the right number of participants. The interviews took take three weeks. Interviews were held within the organisations and at the times when employees were not busy to avoid interfering with normal operations of the organisations. Additionally, some group interviews were required more than one day ensuring that participants responded to all questions. The researcher finished with one organisation before going to the other. All the ten non-profit institutions were allocated equal time.

After group and private interviews, the researcher identified five non-profit organisations and arrange for site visits to gain firsthand experience on how the corporations were trying to convert to financially viable institutions. The researcher made observations and videotaped the activities going on in the organisation (Adler & Adler, 2002). Moreover, the researcher also identified challenges that affect the activities. The activity took 20 days, with the researcher spending four days in each organisation. It will be followed by collection of secondary data from peer-reviewed journals and organisational anecdotes. The researcher will visit public libraries to collect information on how non-profit organisations can transform into financially viable institutions. Besides, the study will use the internet and other available resources. The process will last for 20 days.

After data collection, the researcher embarked on data analysis. The researcher required adequate time to analyse and compare the data collected from different non-profit organisations. Moreover, the researcher required time to compare primary data with secondary data obtained from public library and organisational anecdotes. Data analysis and compilation took 40 days. The researcher devoted ample time to use all necessary methods of data analysis and comparison to come up with accurate and feasible conclusion. After compiling the results, the researcher took ten days to present and explain the results. Also, the researcher gave recommendations on what should be done to help non-profit organisations transform to financially viable institutions.

Quantitative research results

Do change management strategies lead to the transformation of non-profit organisations’ financial operations based on the Biomatrix theory?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 92 73.6 75.6 75.4
Agree 20 16.0 16.6 90.0
Disagree 7 5.6 8.2 96.2
Strongly disagree 6 4.3 2.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

Those who agreed that change management strategies when implemented appropriately lead to organisational transformation and development constituted 73.6% who strongly agreed, 16% agreed, 5.6% disagreed, 4.3% strongly disagreed.

Is culture a change management tool for organisational transformation and development of non-profit organisation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 75 60.0 61.5 61.5
Agree 20 16.0 19.2 80.8
Disagree 15 12.0 10.0 90.8
Strongly disagree 15 12.0 9.2 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

Those who strongly agreed that culture change was fundamental for organisational change and development include 60%, who strongly agreed, 16% agreed, 15% disagreed, and 15% strongly disagreed.

Does leadership play a central role to organisational transformation and development?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 100 80.0 75.4 75.4
Agree 15 12.0 15.6 90.0
Disagree 7 5.6 7.2 96.2
Strongly disagree 3 2.4 2.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

On the role of leadership, 80% on the respondents strongly agreed that it had a significant role to play, 12% agreed, 5.6% disagreed, and 2.4% strongly disagreed.

Is systematic leadership important in the transformation and development process?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 87 69.6 70.0 70.0
Agree 13 10.4 21.0 91.0
Disagree 8 6.4 5.9 95.9
Strongly disagree 17 13.6 3.1 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

It was noted that 69.6% strongly supported the need for systematic leadership, 10.4% agreed, 6.4% disagreed, and 13.6% strongly disagreed.

Should systematic leadership be integrated into leading organisational transformation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 90 72.0 71.9 71.5
Agree 20 16.0 16.1 87.7
Disagree 5 4.0 8.5 96.2
Strongly disagree 10 8.0 3.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The responses on systematic leadership were 72% strongly agreeing that it had a significant role, 16% agreed, 4% disagreed, and 8% strongly disagreed.

Does transformation ethos contribute to organisational transformation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 103 82.4 79.1 79.1
Agree 18 14.4 14.6 93.8
Disagree 5 4.0 3.2 96.8
Strongly disagree 4 3.2 3.2 100.0
Total 130 100.0 100.0

The perspectives on transformation ethos were that 82.4% strongly agreed with its role in organisational transformation, 14.4% agreed, 4.0 disagreed, and 3.2% strongly disagreed.

Do leadership tasks lead to organisational transformation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Disagree 15 11.5 11.5 11.5
Disagree 35 28 19.2 15.0
Unsure 2 0.16 23.0 78.4
Agree 1 0.8 76.8 82
Strongly Agree 70 56.0 99.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

It was established that 56% strongly agreed that leadership task were contributing factors to organisational transformation and development, 0.8% agree, 28% disagree, and 11.5% strongly disagree.

Can change for competitive advantage lead to the transformation and development of an organization?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Disagree 9 7.2 7 7
Disagree 21 16.8 18.0 25
Unsure 17 13.6 37.0 52
Agree 68 53.0 90.0 90
Strongly Agree 15 11 10.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The results on competitive change shows that 11% agree that it is necessary for competitive advantage to be applied for change to occur, 53% agree, 213.6% were unsure, 21% disagreed, and 9% strongly disagreed.

Do change models provide the framework appropriate for the transformation and development of non-profit organisations?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Disagree 3 .24 53.6 10
Disagree 33 26.4 22.0 30
Unsure 20 16.0 37.0 50
Agree 2 0.16 87.0 87.5
Strongly Agree 67 53.6 13.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The response on change management models showed that 53.6% strongly agreed that change models were indispensable frameworks for the transformation of non-profit organisations, 0.16% agreed, 16% were unsure, 26.4% disagreed, and 24% strongly disagreed.

Is there a correlation between learning on organisational transformation and development and case studies?

Case studies Organisational learning for development and transformation
Case studies Pearson Correlation 1 .713**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 125 125
Organisational learning for development and transformation Pearson Correlation .713** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 125 125
The study showed a strong correlation between learning on organisational transformation and successful case studies. The significance is at 0.05 and the chance of making an error on the relationship between learning and organisational transformation and development was less than 5%.

Critical Discussion/Conclusion

Change management strategies based on the biomatrix theory were a demonstrated as important contemporary system approaches with 75.6% strongly agreeing and 2.8% strongly disagreeing with the question on the importance of the management strategies. The literature review results and responses to interview questions on the transformation and development of non-profit organisations showed similar results. Change management and organisational development processes are complex approaches that involve stakeholders; the communities that are served by the non-profit organisations, and Government policies. In general, the main responsibility of the top level management is to lead the members in the change process.

However, the responsibilities are translated into realties by managers who use appropriate strategies such as effective communication and stakeholder involvement and who understand the people being affected based on how the change affects them. It was suggested that a leaders should be aware of organisational attributes based on its history such as employee skills and knowledge, group dynamics, organisational culture, presenting the case for change, the current and expected future structures, and effects of past changes on the operations of the organisation to be effective. It was noted that risk management, team development, situational awareness, supporting structures, strategy analysis, and resistance to change were critical factors to consider as change management and organisational development elements.

When asked about culture, it was noted that 60% strongly agreed on the need to change the culture and 15% disagreed. An analysis of the literature agreed with the position that it was fundamental to change the culture for organisations to fit into the transformation process. Culture can be implemented in the context of power, task, role, and person cultures. Interview responses showed that managers need to factor culture as a strong element that leads to behaviour change throughout the organisation by getting employee engagement, cultivating and encouraging talent and passion, urging people to be creative and encouraging teamwork and collaboration. However, it was noted from the responses that culture change needed leadership direction and change. Interview responses showed that the leadership was responsible for setting the theme for culture change by questioning the existing culture, reconciling new ideas with the previous ideas, values, and beliefs, and enacting the new ideas under the change management leadership.

On leadership, 80% strongly agreed on the leadership that addresses change, 69.6% strongly supported the need for systematic leadership, 82.4% strongly supported the need for transformation ethos while 3.2% that strongly disagreed and 56.0% strongly supported the importance of leadership tasks against 11.5% who strongly disagreed and over 11% who agreed on the need for appropriate leadership to enable competitive advantage. On the other hand, it was noted that a learning organisation was crucial to transform and develop non-profit organisations into profit making institutions. The results showed that for an organisation to be changed or transformed from the non-profit making nature into a profit making organisation, it was necessary to apply systematic leadership in the context of understanding and recognizing the legitimacy of stakeholders to improve the business leadership and the ability to address the development needs of individual employees working in the organisations. The benefits of effective systematic leadership includes creating awareness among employees and the managers on how to create an environment that fosters positive attitudes and actions that lead to cost effective change processes and allows change agents and other stakeholders to question the norms and values of the organisation for corrective actions.

It was concluded from the study that non-profit organisations should merge to reduce operating costs and the number of those competing for funds from the same donors only to duplicate services as the trend to adopt in the future. However, the results indicate that by implementing organisational transformation frameworks within the operations of non-profit organizations to transform them from non-profit organizations into profit making organizations could guarantee financial sustainability and stability.


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