Nonprofit Management Researchers’ Reconceptualization of Comprehensive INGO Accountability: Toward an Institutional Logics Approach


  • Alice Hengevoss University of Basel



INGO Accountability, Nonprofit Research, Systematic Literature Review, Neo-Institutional Theory, Institutional Logics


International nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) face greater accountability demands from various stakeholders, and from their beneficiaries in particular. This has initiated an academic discourse on a more comprehensive approach to INGO accountability to maintain their legitimacy. This article addresses two research questions: What is the current understanding of accountability of INGOs? And what are theoretical venues to strengthen future research on comprehensive INGO accountability? It does so by offering a systematic literature review of the current academic discourse on INGO accountability, and advances four propositions on what comprehensive INGO accountability entails. The review further highlights that INGO accountability is dynamic and complex. The article therefore suggests a theoretical foundation that accounts for these aspects to support researchers interested in further developing comprehensive INGO accountability. It demonstrates how an institutional logics approach allows conceptualizing INGO accountability relationships to a wider set of stakeholders, including to beneficiaries. It further allows advancing an effectiveness-oriented conceptualization.

Author Biography

  • Alice Hengevoss, University of Basel

    Alice Hengevoss is Head of Applied Research at the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel. She studied economics at the University of Zurich and Université Laval in Québec, Canada. In 2021, she completed her doctoral studies in nonprofit management at the CEPS. She researches and publishes on topics related to governance, accountability, and self-regulation of international nonprofit organizations, as well as on organizational closure.






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