Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Published In

Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Engaged Management Scholarship


Broadened accountability, Nonprofit governance, Paradox perspective, Trust


Demands for Broadened Accountability (BA) of nonprofit organizations require that boards achieve a high level of engagement to address important issues properly (Morrison & Salipante, 2007). This paper presents the theoretical basis for boards falling short of such engagement and specifies fundamental obstacles leaders face in achieving BA. One set of especially salient obstacles is conceptualized as false governance dilemmas. Two are considered in this paper: legitimacy vs. efficiency (Di Maggio & Powell, 1983; Deephouse, 1996; Morrison & Salipante, 2006) and conflict/monitoring vs. cooperation/collaboration. Two broadly defined relational practices – integrative bargaining (Walton & McKersie, 1965) and maintenance of high-trust/high-distrust relationships (Lewicki, MacAllister, & Bies, 1998) – are presented as mechanisms for establishing robust board engagement, transcending false governance dilemmas and achieving BA. The authors suggest that a nonprofit paradox perspective (Cornforth, 2004) enables the gradual development of such practices, engagement and accountability.