Transnational partnerships formed between faith-based organizations and churches to address humanitarian needs have grown dramatically in recent years, yet the characteristics of accountability of intermediary organizations in these partnerships are not well understood. These partnerships address a broad variety of activities with annual flows of financial resources in the billions of dollars and they involve millions of people. They include supporting organizations and churches that provide resources, intermediary organizations that broker or manage these partnerships, and organizations and churches that implement the activities. Research was conducted to explain the characteristics of accountability of faith-based intermediary organizations in transnational partnerships to supporting and implementing organizations and churches. The theoretical framework of agency theory and the methodology of grounded theory informed this exploration of the perspectives of 19 key informants involved in transnational partnerships between organizations and churches of the Evangelical Christian religious tradition. All the participants were based in either the United States or Costa Rica and served in a wide variety of roles in a broad range of partnerships. They answered open-ended questions, and responses were coded through open, axial, and selective coding processes. Then, a conditional relationship guide and reflective coding matrix were utilized to further develop emergent theoretical categories, inter-relationships, and a core category around which a theory was built. Research results were illustrated using the voice of participants and significant conclusions about accountability included the role of money and power, who is accountable to whom, degrees of commitment and formality, linkages to learning, and the evolution of accountability. The importance of intermediation and the means by which to establish appropriate accountability relationships were also significant areas of conclusions. The research generated a substantive grounded theory focused around a central category of optimizing intermediary accountability, and the theory develops aspects of partnership formation, intermediary services, and intermediary accountability. The research also generated a framework that can be used by practitioners in faith-based intermediary organizations, as well as by supporting and implementing organizations and churches, to more effectively structure, manage, and evaluate intermediary accountability in these relationships.
|Subjects||Religion; Management; International relations; International law; Organizational behavior|
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