The Challenges Of Implementing High Performance Work Practices In The Nonprofit Sector

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Alice Robineau
Marc Ohana
Sophie Swaton


Human Resources Management, Organizational Behavior, Social Entrepreneurship


The last economic crisis raised huge challenges for nonprofit organizations.  It is now critical for them to show not only their social legitimacy but also their efficiency and competency to claim for grants (Kearns, Bell, Deem, & McShane, 2014).  For nonprofit organizations, High Performance Work Practices (HPWPs) are a way to foster performance and to answer the challenges that they are currently facing.  However, such practices have only been applied to the corporate world to date.  The entire philosophy behind nonprofit organizations radically contrasts with the for-profit sector.  In particular, the principles and practice of human resource management may be quite different depending on the sectoral context.  The aim of this article is precisely to analyze the challenges of implementing HPWPs in nonprofit organizations.  In order to explore these challenges, we study the HR practices of a nonprofit organization based in UK which struggles with poverty.  The discussion of results highlights good practices that should be applied in the nonprofit sector.


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