Citation
Voluntary sector in crisis

Material Information

Title:
Voluntary sector in crisis Canada's changing public philosophy of the state and its impact on voluntary charitable organizations
Creator:
Scott, Jacquelyn Thayer
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xx, 462 leaves : forms ; 29 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voluntarism -- Government policy -- Canada ( lcsh )
Charities -- Government policy -- Canada ( lcsh )
Charities -- Government policy ( fast )
Voluntarism -- Government policy ( fast )
Canada ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, Public Administration.
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jacquelyn Thayer Scott.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
28478126 ( OCLC )
ocm28478126
Classification:
HV105 .S46 1992 ( lcc )

Full Text
VOLUNTARY SECTOR IN CRISIS:
CANADA'S CHANGING PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY
, OF THE STATE AND ITS IMPACT
I1
ON VOLUNTARY CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS
i! by
Jacquelyn Thayer Scott
M.B.A., University of Manitoba, 1980
!' A thesis submitted to the
|! Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
( of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Administration
' 1992


This jthesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Jacquelyn Thayer Scott
has been approved for the
, Graduate School of
Public Affairs
Mark A. Emmert
Date


1992 by Jacquelyn Thayer Scott
All rights reserved.


Scott, Jacquelyn Thayer (Ph.D., Public Administration)
Voluntary Sector in Crisis: Canada's Changing Public
Philosophy of the State and Its Impact on Voluntary
Charitable Organizations
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Lloyd Burton, Jr.
ABSTRACT
Voluntary sector activity in a democratic state may fulfill
many roles and functions, e.g., provision of direct service,
advocacy, mediation, citizen participation. This Delphi study of
senior executives and chief volunteers in Canada's voluntary
sector found that sectoral leaders perceived their organizations
to be in a state of crisis, brought on by more fundamental
changes in the public philosophy of the state. In addition to
reporting the views of sectoral leaders, the study examines the
public philosophy of the state in the contemporary and historical
Canadian case, using political ideology and notions of "the
common good" as principal component variables. The
perceived sectoral trauma is placed in the context of current


!
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changes in the Canadian public philosophy of the state, as it
moves beyond its pluralistic and neo-conservative incarnations.
Van Til's 1988 models for voluntary action are expanded to
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include thej communitarian paradigm and to predict resulting
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organizational role and function changes in Canada's voluntary
,1
sector. Special emphasis in those predictions is placed upon the
function of 'governance and the role of boards, as contrasted with
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previous iterations of the public philosophy of the state.
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This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's
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thesis. I recommend its publication.
Signed
| Lloyd Burton, Jr.
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DEDICATION
For Orpha Scott Thayer, Allan Ansel Brown and Jared
Wolf all captains of my cheerleading team.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A thesis is a difficult and painful birth for all who
i
undertake this (sometime) labour of love. Those of us who
must toil as "part-timers" while juggling jobs, parenting and
|
domestic duties are especially fortunate if we receive support
and encouragement from advisors, family and colleagues. I am
one of the j fortunate.
I
I was blessed with a patient (but demanding) Chair in
Lloyd Burton, who gently forced greater focus while supporting a
i
shift in topic as survey results began to roll in. My Committee
members -r Jon Van Til, Sam Overman, Mark Emmert and
Peggy Cuciti were encouraging and supportive. GSPA
Administrative Assistants, Susan Perez, and, later, Marie
Sarazin, continually went out of their way to help me overcome,
from afar, the bureacratic deficiencies of the University's
registrarial
and bursar systems.


I owe a great debt to two other individuals: Evert
I
Lindquist,; a colleague in political science at the University of
Toronto, reviewed drafts of Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5. Many of the
improvements, but none of the remaining defects, in final drafts
can be attributed to his care. Joan Foley, Vice-President
(Academic) and Provost at the University of Toronto, truly made
it all possible by granting a short leave from my administrative
duties at the School of Continuing Studies to complete writing.
Without the financial support of The Winnipeg Foundation and
I,'
the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations, the breadth
of research would have been much more restricted.
Good "cheerleading" from family and friends helped me
keep the finish line in sight. My mother, Orpha Scott Thayer,
taught me; the virtues of an enquiring mind when combined
with sheer dogged determination. I only wish she could have
i
lived to see the fruits of what was her labour, as well as mine.
Allan Brown and my son, Jared, provided daily affirmation and
approval, whether justified or not! Other important anchors to
my web of support were consulting associates and friends, Ruth


I<
Armstrong: and Lisa Kaichen; research assistant, Debbie Harwick;
York University colleagues, Vic Murray and Mel Moyer; and
good friend and mentor, Rose Sheinin, Vice-Rector (Academic)
at Concordia University. Congratulations, gang! -- this has truly
been our dissertation!
,1
x i


.1
CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION...........................
Purpose and Objectives of the Study.....
i
Canada's Coalition of National Voluntary
Organizations (NVO).....................
Scope of the Study......................
Limitations of the Study................
i
I
Assumptions and Definitions of Terms. . .
, I
Assumptions...........................
i
Definitions.............................
)
Organization of the Document............
Notes...................................
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..............
1
Introduction............................
I
I
i
i i
Voluntarism and Democracy.................
Voluntary Interest Group Formation
and Linkage.............................
1
1
7
19
24
28
28
29
48
50
56
56
57
I
66


Intero'rganizational Decision-making
Linkages........................................ 71
Linking Organizations and Democracy:
Policy;! Communities............................ 77
'l
The Literature Relating to the Public Philosophy
of the.jState and the Common Good........... 82
The! Foundational Arguments of
Communitarianism........................ 82
Thej Liberal Response to Communitarianism..... 95
j
Communitarian Views and the Public
Philbsophy of the State....................... 99
Communitarianism and the Common Good..........110
Summary....................................... 113
Notes;........................................ 114
3. THE HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
OF CANADA AND ITS VOLUNTARY SECTOR .. 116
Introduction...................................... 116
I
Pre-Confederation to the End of the Great War
(c. 1750-1920): The Founding Public Philosophy. .... 120
I
Between the Wars (c. 1920-1940): Stirrings of Change. 150
The Bhilding of the Welfare State (c. 1940-1975).. 154
The. Era of Uncertainty (c. 1975-Present).........169


The History of the Voluntary Sector..................202
Formation of Human Services Associations...........202
t
Donative Patterns................................. 208
Cultural Policy Development....................... 211
Notes............................................. 217
I
" f
4. THE rSURVEY OF VOLUNTARY SECTOR
LEADERS............................................... 222
Introduction........................................ 222
i
Design of the Study................................. 223
y
Administration and Research Questions............... 234
|l
Phase One Journal Notes......................... 234
Phase Two Ethnographic Data Collection......... 234
Phdse Three Delphi Exercise..................... 237
Phase Four -- Consultation Intervention........... 243
Additional Research Questions..................... 248
Criteria for Validity and Reliability............... 248


Evidence of Validity of Investigative
Procedures............................................ 250
I
Summary.
266
5. RESULTS OF THE SURVEY:
ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN..
268
Introduction,
268
Results Related to Differences among Voluntary
Sector Leaders Regarding the Future Sectoral
Macro-Policy Agenda...........................
Differences between "Round One Panel" and
"Ot
iers" in Round Two.
Differences in Responses by Original Panel-
between Round One and Round Two.............
269
292
296
Differences among Round Two Responses
Related to Status of Respondent......................299
j,
Differences among Round Two Responses
Related to Years of Experience.......................300
Differences among Round Two Responses
Related to Primary Activity of Organization..........301
i1
Whlat Patterns Can Be Discerned in the
Round Two Data?.....................................303
i,
' |.
Summary................................................314


6. RESULTS OF THE SURVEY: PESSIMISM/
OPTIMISM AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHOICES. . 316
Introduction..................................... 316
Predictions of Optimism and Pessimism about
Future Influence of External Environmental
Variables................................... 317
Taking Action on the Issues....................... 325
Results Related to Differences among Voluntary
Sector Leaders about Appropriate Interorganizational
Decision-Making Mechanisms for Acting upon
the Macro-Policy Agenda............................334
Results Related to Reasons for
Interorganizational Linkage......................338
Results Related to Differences Respecting Criteria
for Assessing Participant Utility and Satisfaction
in Interorganizational Coalitions................340
Results Which Led to Additional Research
Outcomes and Summary.........................341
7. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS.....................344
Introduction...................................... 344
Conclusions Drawn from This Research...............349
Evidence of Interactivity: Pluralism
and Neo-Conservatism...............................351


Pluralism.......................................351
,i
Neo-conservatism............................. 358
A New Paradigm Shift?............................366
Implications of a Communitarian Paradigm
for the Roles and Functioning of the
Voluntary Sector.................................373
Summary and Future Work..........................385
Notes............................................391
APPENDIX
A. Delphi Questionnaire (English Version),
Round #1, and Cover Letter..................... 393
B. Delphi Questionnaire (English Version),
Round #2, and Cover Letters.................... 410
C. NVO Consultation Pre-Conference Survey.........423
D. Interview Questions, NVO Committee Members. 429
BIBLIOGRAPHY..........................................431
xvi i


FIGURES
Figure
2.1. Five models of voluntary action.....................64
4.1. Initial research design schematic..................225
5.1. Round Two weights, variables 1-6, 7-20............ 291
5.2. Between-round Delphi panel movement, leading
external environmental variables...................299
i
6.1. Pessimism/optimism relationships among
external environmental variables...................324
7.1. Independent external variables strongly impacting
on th6 resource base of voluntary organizations....350
7.2. Associations among variables strongly impacting on
the resource base of voluntary organizations.......350
7.3. Six models of voluntary action.....................379


TABLES
Table
2.1. Values and Biases of Democratic Theory Forms and
Their Views of Types of Volunteering.............. 63
5.1. Frequencies for Round One External Environmental
Variables......................................... 270
5.2. Frequencies for Round One Internal Environmental
Variiables................................... .... 271
5.3. Frequencies of Round One Rankings of Combined
External and Internal Environmental Variables....273
5.4. Round One Expenditures for External
Environmental Variables by Type of Action.......... 277
5.5. Round One Expenditures (Abbreviated) for Internal
Environmental Variables by Type of Action...........282
5.6. Round Two Rankings of External Environmental
Variables.......................................... 287
i
5.7. Round Two Rankings of Internal Environmental
Variables...........................................289
5.8. Round Two Combined Rankings of External and
Internal Environmental Variables................... 290
5.9. Paired-t Test of Panel Movement in Rounds One and
Two Ifor Combined Environmental Variables, and
One-Way Analysis of Variance for Differences
Between "Round One Panel" and "Others" in Round
Two Combined Environmental Variables.............. 293
xix


5.10. Frequencies of Cluster Membership among Round
Two Cases............................................. 306
i
5.11. Best Multiple Regression Models of Round Two
Variable Relationships.................................310
5.12. Partial Associations among Round Two Variables
Determined by Hierarchical Log-Linear Analysis.. . 314
6.1. Pre-Conference Survey Estimates of Impact of
Round | Two Key External Environmental
Variables.............................................. 319
I
6.2. Reliability Analysis of Pre-Conference Survey Scale. . 322
.1
6.3. Best Regression Analysis Models on Pessimism/
Optimism about Pre-Conference Survey Variables. . 324
i
6.4. Preferred Structural Characteristics of a
' 1
Sector-wide Umbrella Organization...................... 336
i
6.5. Perceived Benefits of Participating in an
Effective Sector-Wide Umbrella Organization............ 341
i
7.1. Characteristics of Three Kinds of Democracy..'..........374
i
' ]
7.2. Democratic Regimes (Ideal Types)
375


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Purpose and Objectives of the Study
Canada's voluntary organizations are at an historic
crossroads. The country's 65,000-plus registered charities1 have
been beset by a wide array of environmental changes in recent
years, ranging from funding cutbacks and shifting social
conditions to increased demands for accountability and diversity
-- and that environment is becoming increasingly turbulent.2
Their number increased by nearly 40 per cent during the 1980s3
and two baseline studies conducted in this period showed that --
without counting hospitals and universities -- the sector
employed 1.6 per cent of all Canadian workers, more than twice
the total employed by the largest private-sector industry, forestry
(Ross, 1983) and that, including hospitals and universities,


nearly 20 "cents of every gross national income (GNI) dollar
flowed through voluntary organizations governed by boards
(Martin, 1985).
As fan academic and consultant involved in studying and
teaching about this sector, I was aware that, from time to time,
client-fociised coalitions had emerged within the sector to
address urgent issues -- day care, child welfare, environmental
concerns.; But no strong association had emerged to advocate on
i
behalf of |the sector itself -- nothing to compare with the
I'
Independent Sector in the U.S., for example. Only one sector-
wide association had formed in Canada, and its staunchest
friends would not describe it as strong: the Coalition of
I
i
National Voluntary Organizations (NVO).
Why had a strong sector association never formed? Was
it because individual voluntary organizations saw no myopic,
i
self-interested gain from a strong association? Was it because no
crisis of sufficient proprotions had occurred which might force
linkage?
2


Or, was this phenomenon more systemically based? Why
would a stronger, high-profile association like Independent
Sector form in the U.S. but not in Canada? Might part of the
answer liei in the organization of Canadian society and the
public philosophy of its state? The data gathered for this work
suggests the correct answer would be "all of the above", to some
extent.
This, then, is a study which reflects upon voluntary
organizations and the political philosophical environment in
which they form, function and decline. Specifically, it examines
how the roles and functions of voluntary organizations in one
democratic state may be affected by changes in the political
ideological mix of the public philosophy of that state.
The initial objectives were to determine whether
Canadian voluntary sector leaders had a common future
sectoral macro-policy agenda and, if so, whether their
organizations have the same motivations for linkage as the
'!
public-sector networks upon which most interorganizational
linkage and decision-making studies have been conducted. As
3


well, are there significant differences among voluntary sector
leaders' opinions, based on geographic location, organizational
ii
size, organizational type, staff or volunteer status, or length of
service within the sector?
ii
During the study, other research questions emerged. Do
voluntary sector leaders perceive their policy future to be
j;
interconnected with the political and social environment of the
j|
country (i.e., the "public philosophy of the state"), and
j;
commonly-held values about what constitutes "the common
good"? If!so, what is the theoretical relationship between "the
public philosophy of the state", "the common good", and the
i1
roles and functions of the voluntary sector in a democratic state?
What different values do different types of democratic theory
Ii
place upon organized voluntary activity? What are the
r
l!
implications of this for the role(s) and functioning of voluntary
ij
organizations?
i;
The' primary data were gathered from a Delphi panel
!i *
convened in late 1989, which focused on predicting future
il
external and internal environmental variables which would
4


impact on each panelist's voluntary organization during the
next 10 years. Panelists were also asked to suggest the
organizatiqnal or political level at which ameliorative strategies
to meet each environmental challenge should be conceived and
implemented. These basic findings were supplemented by an
archival study of NVO, and surveys of NVO Consultation
attendees about their optimism/pessimism regarding the
external variables, and their suggestions for specific coalition
strategies to address them.
Reporting and interpreting these data is like putting
together the 2,000-piece Christmas jigsaw puzzle from Aunt
Harriet. There is far too much blue sky in the boxtop picture.
The reader must patiently follow construction of several blocs of
the puzzle:
a description of NVO's history;
a | discussion of several literatures which contribute to
the puzzle solution: organizational formation and
interorganizational decision-making, public philosophy
of the state and notions of the common good, and the
5


tenets of the emergent post-liberal literature on
communitarianism (Chapter 2);
1!
a brief historical reprise of the formation and
I
development of Canadian federalism and the evolving
public philosophy of the state which underlies its
structure and functioning (Chapter 3); and
some historical commentary on the development of
the Canadian voluntary sector, as it relates to corollary
developments in the public philosophy of the state
(Chapter 3).
Subsequent chapters will describe the research
methodology (Chapter 4), the survey results on the
environmental scan (Chapter 5), the survey results relating to
future predictions and association choices (Chapter 6), and a
final chapter which attempts to integrate the puzzle blocs and
project some theoretical suggestions about how the completed
puzzle looks.
I
6


The i study began with curiosity about the NVO. Some
history of this association and its role within the Canadian
voluntary sector will be helpful to understanding what follows.
Canada's Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (NVO)
NVO was founded in 1974 by several large national
charities, af the active suggestion and encouragement of the
federal government, and is Canada's only national broad-
purpose, interorganizational linkage across social service,
arts/multicultural and sport/recreation groups. Until 1991-92,
i
NVO had no constitution, no elected hierarchy of officers, no
permanent national secretariat, and its members did not take
formal votes to establish policy directions acting only on
intuited consensus.4 Nearly all of its annual budget has
continued to come from the federal Secretary of State's
Voluntary ;Action Program. General meetings (called
"Consultations") were held approximately every two years; at
each, a Committee of 10 persons was elected (the only voting the
organization did) to provide leadership between Consultations.
7


' I
The organization and its Committee operated on three
I
principles: jj consensus (not majoritarian rule) in identifying
l:
!i
areas in which the Committee would act on behalf of members,
participation on task forces established to examinee particular
issues, aryd{representativeness on the NVO Committee to
I,
account for varying interests (geographical, cultural, sectoral,
gender, volunteer/staff).
According to early documents, the priorities of NVO
ii
included: developing and promoting a policy framework at the
!'
federal level to implement the government's expressed
||
intention to promote voluntary initiative; reforming the
I:
Income Tax Act to encourage individual and corporate support
|i
of charitable organizations and to overcome inequities in the
cost of giving among income groups; improving the capacity of
ij
NVO to function in both official languages (i.e., English and
j:
French); biiilding effective channels of communication among
Ij
national voluntary organizations and developing traffic on
i!
ji
these channels; and interpreting the network's role to the
I:
government and participating organizations.5
8


NVO's accomplishments were small in number; opinion
was divided about its significance. During its 16-year history, it
had made some progress in its efforts to reform the practices of
Revenue Canada (which grants charitable status to
organizations and polices their conformance with charitable
i
regulations), and the government agreed to experiment with a
i
"hands-off" policy toward charities engaged in non-partisan
i
political Activity. A nominal and universal $100 individual
!i
charitable'!tax deduction was eliminated, but tax policy was not
J
changed to encourage additional charitable giving or to
i
I
overcome inequities in the cost of giving among income groups.
i
Federal tax reforms during this period, in fact, made charitable
contributions most costly for rich individuals and for profitable
!
corporations with a previous history of charitable giving. While
there were some other NVO activities during this period, none
'!
i
resulted in national policy or program changes.
This study drew upon senior staff and volunteers of NVO
I
member organizations for the Delphi panel for three reasons:
9


I
NVO was the only sector-wide interorganizational
!
linkage devoted to interests of the sector, as opposed to
interests of a targeted client group or policy issue;
membership appeared to be broadly representative of
the operational interests of the sector; and
senior staff and volunteers were long-time actors in the
sector, representing the national policy community on a
largie number of issues relating to health, social services,
culture and recreation.
At the time of the study intervention, voluntary sector
i /
leaders were feeling a sense of chaos and crisis, and projecting a
future of great uncertainty. Program demands were rising,
i
program supports were declining, and there seemed to be no
national consensus about social policy and how it was to be
' I
determined and implemented.
i
The | association was interested in undertaking its first-
j
ever strategic planning exercise, and welcomed (ahd endorsed)
j
involvement of the researcher in conducting the Delphi,
I
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10


presenting;! results at its 1990 Consultation, and facilitating
strategy development.
'I
Most member representatives at the 1990 NVO
Consultation expressed considerable interest in the Delphi
results and the Consultation-related data-gathering instruments.
Many expressed the feeling that "I knew I was feeling that way,
' i
but I'm surprised all of us share such similar views" followed
by, "now that we know we agree on all this, it's time to get on
with action!"
i
Members of the NVO Committee were given preliminary
I
Delphi results a few weeks previously and incorporated them
!j
into the draft strategic plan. During the plenary session devoted
to discussion of this draft, members voted to incorporate the
organization for the first time in its history, and authorized the
[
1
new Committee to draft a Constitution which would include
provision for a slate of officers and articulate NVO's concern for
i|
sector-wide policy issues and advocacy. The new NVO
Committee requested a draft summary for its strategic planning
I 11
i


activities qf the Consultation Worksheet recommendations
'i
members completed at the session as part of this study .
At the time of writing, the draft Constitution, letters
patent and; bylaws have been passed by the NVO Committee
(now a Board of Directors). The Board has reaffirmed
membership sentiments that NVO not be registered as a charity,
in order that it may devote most of its efforts to non-partisan
i,
lobbying and advocacy. Officers will be elected for the first time
at a Consultation planned for 26-28 January, 1992 which is
' !
being held! only because of successful last-minute lobbying of the
federal Minister to obtain the required funding.
I
Why the uncertainty about the near operational future?
ii
Other events in that external environment have overtaken the
ji
organization. In February, 1991, the federal government
announced that part of its strategy to reduce public expenditures
and the accumulated debt would be to cut operational funding
to interest |!groups. Some $75 million would be trimmed this
fiscal year;; $125 million next fiscal year. NVO and its members
were extremely concerned. Members urged the Committee to


lobby loudly and noisily on behalf of the sector. The Committee
chose to be more cautious. Several of them were certain that the
government meant mainly to "punish" groups it didn't like --
I
such as the noisy and vociferous National Action Committee on
the Status of Women (NAC). Bureaucratic sources inside the
Voluntary Action Secretariat of the Ministry of
Multiculturalism and Citizenship (successor to the old Ministry
of State) indicated to NVO's administrator that their voluntary
action budget had not yet been cut. Perhaps NVO and its more
I,
traditional "charitable" members (e.g., the "Y", Boys' and Girls'
Clubs, etc.) could escape unscathed, some Committee members
i
reasoned, if they continued a polite and respectful stance toward
government. The real problem was that members of
government didn't know enough about these organizations and
the good they did, the argument went.6
In March, NVO Chair Richard Bailey sent a letter to all
federal Ministers and Members of Parliament, which attempted
i
to explain the organization and the services it performed. The
i,
heart of its: message came midway through its three pages:
13


Volunteer and charitable organizations contribute
more to society than they receive in grants and
contributions from government departments. For
instance, 49 national health serving agencies receive a
total of $2.9 million from Health and Welfare Canada.
These same groups, through charitable donations,
provide $100 million in research grants to the
medical and scientific community. Health and Welfare
Canada also provides $3.3 million to 28 different social
service agencies which use volunteers extensively in
their program delivery. As an example, the Boys' and
Girls'.Clubs of Canada have seven volunteer workers
for each of its 1,000 paid staff. . The volunteer and
charitable sector is essential to the well-being of
Canadian society, especially when Canadians are forced
to deal with other difficult issues. We hope all
Ministers responsible will take this into consideration
when; they meet to determine how best to partition the
cuts announced in the most recent federal budget.7
NVO had received verbal approval for its own annual
budget from the Voluntary Action Secretariat (VAS), and on
April 1 looked forward, as usual, to receiving 50 per cent of its
money the balance to be paid upon receipt by the Ministry of
I
its report and audited financial statements for the previous year.
But April 1 brought a cheque for only 25 per cent of the
amount requested. By early August, the NVO's administrator
phoned thp VAS to enquire when more money might be
expected. She was told a cheque for a further 25 per cent would
14


be in the mail within the next two weeks. Upon her return
from holidays later that month, the cheque had not arrived and
she again ii phoned and was told VAS had misinformed her
I,
earlier. Thus, by late September when all the the
1
organization's annual funding usually had been received -- only
25 per cent was in hand, and Board members were being
jj
I
stonewalled when they phoned to press the Ministry.
'I
In desperation, NVO leaders obtained an appointment
with the Minister the week of December 16 -- without an
l1'
emergency grant of $40,000, the group's January Consultation
could not be held and the organization would have to
immediately close its doors. The emergency grant was made,
enabling the Consultation to proceed, but there is little
likelihood;; that continued operational funding will be awarded.
i
As a key Ministry funding official reported to me on December
18, "the NVO -- it's a dead parrot".
|
Meanwhile, NVO sent out its annual appeal for funds
from its riiembers in August. A national mail strike in
i
September slowed some replies, but from 11 received NVO had
r
15


I
I
I
ii
'' r
\
garnered $14,000 up from $12,000 from the same donors in the
previous year. NVO's best year for membership funding had, in
I
fact, been 1990. After the fervour of the Consultation, members
it
did dig more deeply into their pockets and their donations
i|
totalled 24.8 per cent of NVO's receipts -- the largest percentage
i
ever, and 'membership had increased to 150 organizations.
I
There is riot the same spirit of optimism this year, and NVO
officials and others are openly questioning how long the
organization will be able to survive.
The pessimism about membership donations this year
has two roots. Some members are dissatisfied that the
i
Committee has been so timid in its response to government. As
well, members are in ever-tougher financial straits. NVO
surveyed its members early in 1991, before the latest round of
I
federal budget cuts was announced.8 Sixty-four of the 150
members responded, and indicated their heavy reliance on
I
i
federal funding. Of those responding:
68 per cent (N = 43) receive core funding from the
federal government;
i
16


I,
17 per cent depend on Ottawa for over 50 per cent of
I,
their budget;
20 per cent rely on Ottawa for 25-50 per cent of their
I
budget; and
30 per cent depend on the federal government for up to
25 per cent of their budget.
This federal dependence was even stronger for program and
project funding: 87 per cent received such funding, and 65 per
cent said this project funding was very important to them.
Some agencies indicated their actual survival would be
threatened should their funding be cut.
This survey also indicated that even before the
announced cutbacks 41 per cent had already had their core
funding grants reduced, 46 per cent had had their grants frozen,
and 11 per cent had applied for funding and been refused.
Respecting project funding, 46 per cent reported changes to their
'I
I
funding, of which 58 per cent said those changes were funding
reductions (29 per cent said more money was available).
Respondents also complained that project funding did not cover
17


1
overhead costs, and that they did not have enough
i
|i
manage thp application and reporting involved in
'!
these funds.
i
I
The [report concluded: "It appears the voluntary sector is
nearing a crisis situation".9 Of those responding, 33 per cent said
they would be severely affected by any further cutbacks, 30 per
cent said they would be affected to some degree, and only eight
per cent expected to experience little or no impact. Some 39 per
cent said they would not be able to replace the federal money, 22
I
per cent said they could replace it, and 20 per cent were
uncertain:1
However, many respondents also mentioned that
fundraising was becoming increasingly difficult because
of the current recession. Not only are they experiencing
cuts from governments but the recession [and the GST]
was biting into their other sources as well. This is
particularly painful as the majority of agencies get
project funding rather than sustaining grants; such
funding leaves them scrambling to cover overhead with
these other fundraising efforts. . .The general state of
the economy is also responsible for an increase in
demand for services from the voluntary sector as
communities and individuals are also going through a
restraint program. The overall picture is one of high
demand, yet funding cuts from all directions and greater
time restraints mean staffs spend more time, not only
staff to
receiving
I
}
i
18


tryingj to find new revenue sources, but having to justify
what they do have.10
I
I
Scope of the Study
At the time the research was conducted, NVO had 119
organizational members whose operational interests spanned
sectoral activity (although the majority represented social
\
i,
welfare agencies) but were national, covered more than one
geographic!'region of the country, or were umbrella-like in scope.
Many of its members were "large" in terms of membership or
'i
budget (e.g;., the Anglican Church of Canada, the Canadian
Cancer Society), but a significant number represented smaller
'i
organizational entities with few paid staff (e.g., Canadian Rights
i
and Liberties Federation, Friends of the Earth, Canadian
Association of Neighbourhood Services).
While the total number of member organizations may
appear small, given the 65,000-plus registered charities, NVO
l>
ii
membership constituted a broad representation of that universe.
For example, a religious denomination might have hundreds of
individual congregations/parishes, each registered as a separate
19


charity, but "their" NVO member might be the national office of
the denomination. Similarly, medical research charities have
local and provincial branches, each individually registered, but
represented in NVO by the national office. An NVO member
like the Canadian Council for the Arts may represent dozens of
its affiliated members.
When the research began, the NVO Committee was
considering a strategic planning exercise and readily agreed to all
elements of the study, including use of its membership lists (and
covering introductory letters by the Co-Chairs of the Committee)
to conduct the survey. To obtain larger amounts of data, the
entire NV0 membership was treated as potential panel
members. The first questionnaire (see Appendix A) 11 pages
of totally open-ended questions was sent in September-
October, 1989, to 238 individuals, each the senior staff member
or senior policy volunteer of a member organization. Some 26
respondents.-- four volunteers and 22 staff completed the
instrument, for a response rate of approximately 11 per cent.
20


j!
ii
i
i;
i'
i
i'
While the number of responses to the instrument was
small, the !i replies were extremely rich. Respondents wrote
lengthy commentary and several attached additional pages of
li
;i
explanation. From these complex and thoughtful replies, the
r
Round Two questionnaire (see Appendix B) was developed and
i
administered in November-December, 1989. Again, the
instrument was sent to the total mailing list, but those to Round
Ji
One participants were pre-coded. This instrument was shorter
four pages in length and contained many closed-ended and
rank-ordering options.
ij
From continuing panel members, it invited reflection and
'i
reconsideration of their Round One responses. It also added a
j:
series of questions about the type of interorganizational
i
. l;
structure respondents felt would be desirable to accomplish
i;
sector-wide tasks (including a query about whether such an
organization was required at all), covering characteristics and
'\
funding, as well as perceived benefits. Demographic material
I:
was again! requested, but these questions were refined as a result
of learnings from Round One.
i
(i
i
ii
i'
21


Those who had not participated in Round One were asked
to reflect on those findings and indicate their concurrence or
disagreement with the policy agenda identified. Sixty-six
responses were received, including 21 of the Round One
respondents, a response rate of approximately 28 per cent. Of
those providing demographic information, 11 identified
themselves as volunteers and 47 as senior staff; 51 were from
human service agencies and three from arts/cultural
organizations.
Because of the unanimity in responses, an anticipated
Round Three of the survey was not required. However, 53
participants (of approximately 90 attending) in the NVO
Jl
Consultation held in Ottawa in January, 1990, completed an
additional, instrument which assessed the six external variables
Round Two participants had identified among their "top ten"
macro-policy issues, in terms of whether they would "get
worse", "stay the same" or "get better" during the coming
decade. Twenty of these respondents had participated in one or
22
I


both of Rounds One and Two. (See Appendix C for this
instrument.)
Finally, as part of the consultative intervention with the
I
NVO Committee, 59 participants at the NVO Consultation
completed an action worksheet setting out possible
i;
interorganizational strategies to meet the most serious policy
challenges identified. (See Appendix C for this instrument, as
well.)
Two of a planned series of in-depth interviews with past
and present NVO Committee members were conducted, but the
j
balance1 were not completed because of the shift in focus of the
study described above.
i
Other research required to address the objectives of the
study was more passive and reflective. In addition to reviewing
the literature related to interorganizational decision-making,
and Delpliii and other qualitative research techniques, the study
J
required investigation of:
I
23


historical and political theories of Canada's formation
i1
'i
andr governance and development of its social and
cultural policies;
I
political theory of voluntary group formation and the
Ai
operation of policy communities; and
the emerging philosophical and political science
I,
!
literature on "the public philosophy of the state" and
communitarian notions of "the common good".
Limitations of the Study
The' study experienced the typical limitations of problem-
centred, interdisciplinary research. Survey respondents
l
identified jmany variables which impacted on their choice of
macro-policy agenda items. The findings clearly indicate that
these leaders viewed those variables as closely interconnected or
nested (see Chapter 5). The challenge for the researcher is either
i
to pull apart complex variables into identifiable and discrete
i'
i;
strands, or to comprehensively and wholistically relate that
interconnectedness to theory.
24


I chose the latter course, believing that interconnectedness
l
i
to be an important and indivisible feature of the findings. Alas,
there is no1
single and comprehensive body of theory to which it
can be related. The predominant relationships among variables
II
in the macro-policy agenda appeared to be political and
I
philosophical in their nature; thus, I chose to relate them to
political science and philosophical theory.
i
'I
j
Although "funding" and "financial pressures" were
identified ds primary policy priorities, I did not relate the
i
findings to| the numerous economic theories of role and
i
behaviour :jof nonprofit organizations. This was because survey
replies cast both of these priorities in largely political
I
!
terminology. Thus, the traditional market-model economic
J
perspective (see Ferris and Graddy, 1989; Hansmann, 1989;
Lohmann, !|1989) was deemed to be of less relevance to the
purposes o|f this study. Other scholars, so inclined, may
i
[
undertake jthe task of developing integrated economic and
political thjeory with respect to these and similar findings.
25


The need for strategic planning, skilled paid and
!i
volunteer human resources and better means of dealing with
organizational conflicts also were identified as important macro-
policy issues by respondents. These organizational and
i!
management issues were not given sufficient weight, however,
for me to {jilace a priority on relating findings to sociological or
I:
management theories of group/organizational dynamics and
|
lifecycles. jGiven the terminology used in reporting these
i!
variables/ Ijj determined they also could be explained in large part
li-
as normal jorganizational responses to a highly turbulent
ji
external socio-political environment. The management issues
|i
raised are interesting, but tangential to this enquiry.
I
The i'study also suffers from some limitations in sample
selection, and its data are not longitudinal. Respondents were
i;
disproportionately representative of large or umbrella-type
organizations with a national scope. It is not clear whether their
views differ significantly from those of leaders in local,
grassroots
groups (although some informal testing of results in
classroom settings of managers of smaller groups did not
26


Il
'l
indicate such differences). Most respondents were from human-
service organizations, with arts/multicultural and
sport/recreational agencies under-represented.
Perhaps the most important limitation in the sample
1
with respect to the objectives of this study is that respondents
I
j
were almost totally from English Canadian voluntary sector
I
organizations. French organizational members of NVO were
polled in French, and their response rate was proportionate to
that of English members. However, NVO has relatively few
French members. It can be argued that voluntary sector activity
, i
and its social, legal and political operating environment in
i '
Quebec is so different from that of English Canada (see Chapter
J
3) that integration of macro-policy perceptions would be
|
inappropriate and misleading. Still, discussion of past, present
and emerging concepts of "the public philosophy of the state" in
Canada cannot be segregated linguistically with any success. The
love-hate tensions between the "two solitudes" (MacLennan,
1977) are integral to the conflictual mix of ideologies and values
which have dominated public life since before Confederation.
:j
|
'j
27


Assumptions and Definitions of Terms
Assumptions
The i assumptions made in this study can be intuited from
i
the foregoing and require little additional explanation:
(1) The staff and volunteer leaders who participated in
the various surveys are assumed to be representative of the
Canadian voluntary sector, as NVO is assumed to be a
microcosm of the voluntary, charitable organization universe.
j
(2) ! In a democratic state which has relied, in large part,
upon voluntary organizations to deliver direct social welfare
and cultural services (see Chapter 3) through program funding
to those entities, the political and public policy context will
I
dominate the operating environment of those voluntary
organizations.
(3) Therefore, significant shifts in the political and public
I
policy context within a democratic state will impact on the
governance and operation of voluntary organizations, causing
adjustments to their perceived roles and functions. I
I
I
28


(4) -Finally, but now tangentially to this enquiry,
voluntary sector organizations will behave like other, public-
sector agencies with respect to motivations for
interorgariizational linkage. That is, they will be more likely to
cooperate and accept the loss of some independence in decision-
making when faced with situations of resource scarcity or
performance distress (Schermerhorn, 1975).
Definitions
Several terms to be used throughout this study require
definition,' among them: voluntary sector, voluntary
organization, public philosophy of the state, common good, and
i
civic trusteeship.
,i
It is no simple task to define the voluntary sector.
Numerous scholars have attempted the task since the early
1970s, achieving no easy consensus even on the name.
Variously, it has been referred to as the independent sector, the
third sector, the nonprofit sector, as well as the voluntary
sector.11 Four questions have dominated these scholarly
29


discussions: What are the defining characteristics of the
voluntary Rector? Who's in? Who's out? What does the sector
do?
Smith (1973) stated that the sector refers to all those
persons, groups, roles, organizations and institutions in society
whose goals involve primarily voluntary action "what one is
1
neither made to or paid to do" (p. 387) particularly all
nonprofit organizations.12 Fuller (1969) called the collectivity of
|
voluntary 'associations "the glue that holds together what one
I
writer has:called 'the furniture of society' and not the furniture
itself" (p. 6), and argued that the primary principles of
association are "shared commitment" and "legal principle". It is
voluntarily offered shared commitment, he said, which lies at
'i
the heart ;of voluntarism.
Both of these definitions illustrate a range of early
attempts to distinguish the voluntary sector from other realms
of activity, most frequently defined as the "private" and "public"
I
sectors.13 Later scholarly work recognizes greater levels of
30


complexity in distinguishing among societal sectors. Van Til
(1988) reviews three sophisticated attempts to "map" the
voluntary sector by Sumariwalla (1983), Kramer (1984) and
Gamwell (1984) and contributes a schematic of his own.
|i
Sumari walla (1983) considers the dilemma of graphically
depicting the sector. Is it truly independent (as Levitt, 1973, and
Joyal, 1984) suggest) or is it more akin to "private" or "public"
activity? In one construct, he visualizes two principal divisions
and classifies nonprofit organizations as private-sector "non-
business" entities, operating either in the public interest or an
"all other" sub-category. In an alternate construct, he posits
I.
three parallel sectors -- "public", "business" and "nonbusiness,
nongovernmental". This latter sector, as in his first construct, is
comprised !.of public interest and "all other" activities and
organizations.
Kramer (1984) focuses his three-sector schematic on the
delivery of personal and social services, and the inter-
relationships among profit-making, governmental and
voluntary organizations. He identifies the five possible
j
31


relationships among sectors as reprivatization, empowerment,
pragmatic partnership, governmental operation, and
nationalization a linear continuum that moves from private-
sector predominance (of reprivatization), to voluntary-sector
-I
dominance: (of empowerment), to increasing levels of
governmental predominance (from pragmatic partnership
through tq nationalization).
Gamwell (1984) draws on the philosophies of John Dewey
i
and Milton; Friedman in building two differing maps of the
voluntary sector, before developing his own construction. The
"Dewey map" defines the private sector as "consumption-
regarding"! and the nonprofit sector as "community-regarding",
1
further subdividing the latter into "nonpublic interest" and
"public interest" sub-sectors. The "Friedman map" also
identifies two nongovernmental sectors the "profit-seeking or
commercial" and the "nonprofit or independent" but sub-
divides the nonprofit sector into "charitable" and "public
service" categories. Gamwell's own map distinguishes first
between governmental and nongovernmental entities, and
32


then divides the latter into "private-regarding" and "public-
regarding";: agencies. "Public-regarding" organizations are
further split on the basis of exclusivity into "less inclusive" and
"more inclusive" groupings. "More inclusive" groups are
differentiated as "nonpolitical-regarding" or "political-
regarding";.
I'
Van i Til (1988) argues that these maps are too simplistic
and confining, taking into account only political theory. Several
different kinds of maps are required, he suggests, and offers a
i!
social science analog to natural science cartography, which
produces maps which are primarily topographic, primarily
tectonic, or primarily meteorological.
His topographical map, describing boundaries, closely
resembles the work of Sumariwalla, Kramer and Gamwell.
i,
Four sectors -- governmental, business, household (or informal)
and voluntary are identified, and the latter is sub-divided into
"public-regarding or charitable" associations (e.g., nonreligious
service associations, religious organizations, philanthropic and
fundraising institutions) and "membership benefit" associations
33


I
(e.g., trade associations and unions, self-help groups, clubs, other
private-interest groups, and all other non-public interest
associations).
His meteorological map attempts to map "climate" the
values of the voluntary sector, which are divided into three
categories: basic democratic values as articulated by Tocqueville,
the spectre of privatism (Bellah, et al., 1985), and cultural
l;
influences engendered by associational life itself (which he
derives from the work of Emile Durkheim).
Finally, Van Til constructs a tectonic map, seeking to
understand underlying forces affecting the shape and nature of
sectoral activities: bureaucratization, mass democratization,
power and oligarchical control, economic concentration, and the
interpenetration of sectors.14
Billis (1991) presents an additional perspective. His
"map" first divides business and governmental bureaucracies
from voluntary associations. He defines bureaucracies as
systems of, paid staff who are organized into hierarchical roles
34


,1
and bound together by concepts such as accountability and
authority, through the chain of command:
Voluntary associations comprise groups of people who
draw, a boundary between themselves and others in
order! to meet some problem. They have an objective or
purpose. The concept of membership is crucial
without it the boundary cannot be maintained. The
"rules of the game" are based on concepts such as voting
and elections that provide legitimacy for the existence of
the association. Associations may be regarded
as the core distinctive group of the voluntary sector,
even though they may not necessarily be at the forefront
of social policy concerns. (E 61)
The world of bureaucracies and associations overlaps, however,
and the middle territory is occupied by voluntary agencies that
possess the attributes of both associations and bureaucracies.
These voluntary agencies occupy three different zones:
i
government-oriented agencies which look primarily to the state
for legitimacy and funding; market-oriented agencies dependent
upon market forces and fee income; and entrepreneurial
agencies which have a strong membership base.
il
What, then, are the commonly-held defining
characteristics of the voluntary sector? Parsimoniously, there is
agreement that the activity and organizations are "privately
35


I
controlled ,yet do not exist primarily to earn a profit. . .(and)
exist primarily to serve others, to provide goods or services to
those in need" (Salamon and Abramson, 1982:9) and exhibit
some aspeict of voluntary action, behaviour or shared
commitment of purpose. They may be seen as focused on public-
benefit rather than mutual benefit (Douglas, 1987). Voluntary
I
organizations operate under a non-distribution constraint (i.e.,
earnings and assets may not be distributed to their members)
and many such entities are tax-exempt.
!'
As to who's in and who's out, the ultimate decision is
made by the state and/or by the membership of the voluntary
entity itself. In Canada, voluntary organizations must register as
provincially or federally chartered nonprofit corporations if
their directors are to be protected from unlimited financial
l
liability for organizational actions. If the action is taken to
incorporate as it usually is a further decision must be made
ji
whether to apply for charitable status.
Canada has no convenient taxonomy of nonprofit
entities, such as that used by the National Center for Charitable
36


Statistics and the Internal Revenue Service in the U.S. Revenue
Canada determines eligibility for charitable status using wide
discretionary powers granted in legislation grounded in the
traditions of the Elizabethan Poor Laws, and British and
Canadian common law. That is, the applicant organization
i
must further one or more of the following charitable purposes
in common law: relief of poverty, advancement of education,
advancement of religion, or other charitable purpose beneficial
to the community. Since the last category has no statutory
!
definition,'it is the broadest and most difficult to define, and has
been used1 as an umbrella to cover evolving societal concepts of
charity. Iti has been used to anoint groups as diverse as self-help
or patients' rights organizations and environmental coalitions.
At the time of registration, the organization must request
classification as a charitable organization, a public foundation or
a private foundation. If granted charitable status, it becomes
subject to ia number of regulations regarding disbursement
quotas, capital accumulation, investments and political
activities.,
37


,1
As in many other democratic states, it is the decision to
seek incorporation and charitable status which accords a special
character to a Canadian voluntary sector organization. In
common law, directors of such organizations are trustees on
l,
behalf of the community, exercising a fiduciary trust over its
assets and operating practices, and operating "at arm's length".
Truly, the organization belongs to the wider community in
carrying out its principal charitable activities. This is an
important distinction for purposes of this study, which is
interested in the relationship between changes in their political
and social operating environment and the roles and functions
of voluntary organizations.
What does the voluntary sector do ? Opinions are
distributed i on a continuum which ranges from performance of
altruistic, philanthropic service (Neilsen, 1979; Eisenberg, 1983;
Ross, 1983; Gam well, 1985; Payton, 1984; Hall, 1987a, 1987b ; et al.)
to advocacy and social change (Kramer, 1981; Rogers, 1987;
Milofsky, 1988; et al.), to a forum for citizen participation
through mediation between government and individual
I
38


citizens (Schindler-Rainman and Lippitt, 1975; Berger and
Neuhaus, 1977; Bremner, 1985; Wolf, 1985; Wolf and Sale, 1985;
Dobell and1 Mansbridge, 1986; et al.). In Canada, the voluntary
sector has performed all of these roles and functions, with
special emphasis since the 1960s on direct service and
mediation.15
I,
Taken in summary, for purposes of this study, the
voluntary sector shall be defined as the universe of
incorporated, mostly tax-exempt, public-benefit Canadian
nonprofit organizations engaged in direct service, advocacy or
social change activities, and/or mediation, governed by boards
whose members operate "at arm's length" and receive no
monetary benefit from their service.
Voluntary organization shall be defined as a structured
group within the voluntary sector (as defined above) "whose
members have united for the purpose of advancing an interest
ji
or achieving some social purpose" (Van Til, 1988:8).
39


The public philosophy of the state was a term initially
used by Walter Lippmann,16 but his usage referred to a
contemporary natural law a set of enduring principles by
which nations could be guided. Everett Ladd17 adapted the term
to analytically describe attitudes of members of the political class
(i.e., leaders and activitists) and public opinion, in general, as did
Lowi (1969). But it is Beer (1978) who is generally credited with
'l
the current understanding of the concept as a state of mind, an
outlook oh politics and government:
By a public philosophy I mean an outlook on public
affairs which is accepted within a nation by a wide
coalition and which serves to give definition to
problems and direction to government policies dealing
with them. (R 5)
Manzer (1985) adds that, as an analytical term, public
philosophy refers to certain political ideas, beliefs, and values
that are also covered by definitions of political culture:
. .but public philosophy focuses on orientations, both
61ite and mass, to public problems and governmental
policies and omits reference to such individual
psychological orientations as sense of political efficacy,
degree of political trust, and level of political interest,
40


which have been central concerns in contemporary
studies of political culture. (P 192)
Reich (1988) describes these "outlooks" or "orientations"
I
as "[public] ideas about what is good for society".18 Sullivan
(1982) interchangeably describes the same concept as "public
civic philosophy" and "civic republicanism", this latter term
also being used by Bellah, et al. (1985) and Kemmis (1990). All of
these scholars emphasize that any given analysis of the public
philosophy is limited in time and space, and that the concept is
active, communicative, interdependent, and evolutionary in
nature: 1
The distinctive feature of republican political life is its
dependence not only on participation in public
institutional forms but also on the more diffuse quality
of public communication and understanding. . .At its
deepest level, a public philosophy is a tradition of
interpreting and delineating the common
understandings of what the political association is all
about iand what it aims to achieve. (Sullivan, 1982, Pp. 9-
10)
In the civic republican tradition, public life is built upon
the second languages and practices of commitment that
shape | character. These languages and practices establish
a web of interconnection by creating trust, joining people
to families, friends, communities and churches, and
making each individual aware of his reliance on the
larger [society. They form those habits of the heart that
41


are the matrix of a moral ecology, the connecting tissue
of a body politic. (Bellah, et al., 1985, P. 251)
As; will be seen in Chapter 2, these latter understandings
about the, importance of communication, discourse and
interdependence in articulating and analysing the public
philosophy of the state and the particular function of
voluntary1 associations in that process -- mean that most of
these same scholars are closely identified with the development
of "communitarian" thought.
The concept of the common good is linked to the notion
]!
of the public philosophy of the state, yet differentiated subtly
from it by its more normative nature and its focus upon the
aims to be achieved by that public philosophy. Manzer (1984),
for example, refers to elements of public philosophy as
expressing "concepts of human need and political good. .and
establish[ing] the priority for their satisfaction by collective
action" (p' 4). Sometimes called "the public good" or "the public
interest",1 Reich (1988) and Sullivan (1982) note in classical
liberalism and the individualist tradition the concept of the
common good is best understood as the sum of individual
42


preferences or private benefits. In the civic republican tradition,
Bellah, et al. (1985) write it "is that which benefits society as a
whole and leads to what the founders of the American republic
called public happiness" (p.335).
I
It is this latter understanding that will define use of the
term in this study, but with some additional and clarifying
shades of meaning. Sullivan (1982) argues that the language of
civic republicanism "addresses directly the craving of the
human self for inclusion in a community of mutual concern"
(p. 159). This involves the search for, and development of,
qualities of life beyond economic well-being:
. .not by abstracting from social inequalities and
economic needs but by addressing them as human,
moral, personal realities. . .civic life is possible because
human nature is naturally disposed to find its
fulfillment in what is called a life of virtue. . .[i.e.,] the
excellence of character proper to the citizen. (Pp. 160, 163)
Historian Michael Ignatieff acknowledges the problem of
crafting political philosophical language which adequately
expresses land defines the common good. In his classic 1984
essay on "privacy, solidarity, and the politics of being human",
43


The Needs' of Strangers, he turns instead to the language of
tragedy, Christian sin, and human passion to address such
questions as "when is it right to speak for the needs of
strangers?":
It is because money cannot buy the human gestures
which confer respect, nor rights guarantee them as
entitlements, that any decent society requires.a public
discourse about the needs of the human person. It is
because fraternity, love, belonging, dignity and respect
cannot be specified as rights that we ought to specify
them as needs and seek, with the blunt institutional
procedures at our disposal, to make their satisfaction a
routine human practice. . .1 am saying that a decent and
humane society requires a shared language of the good.
(Pp. 13-14)
In expressing the idea of the common good as a
normative1 ideal, these scholars hasten to avoid its
romanticization. Ignatieff, in particular, cautions that we must
find a shared language of the good "which is not just a way of
expressing nostalgia, fear and estrangement from modernity"
(1984, p. 139).
The common good, then, is that which benefits society as
a whole, but which moves beyond provision of public facilities
and economic opportunities to find shared language which
44


positively expresses a society's values about dignity, respect,
belonging, jand mutual concern and responsibility.
As might be expected, the concept of civic trusteeship is
interconnected with the concepts of the public philosophy of the
state and the common good. The most common dictionary
definitions of "trust", "trustee" and "entrust" include such
meanings as care, custody, responsibility, safekeeping, reliance
on another's honesty and reliability, etc.19 Civic trusteeship,
therefore, 'is saturated with those meanings when a trust
relationship exists between the trustee and the wider
community, that "group of people who are socially
interdependent. . and who share certain practices that both
define the community and are nurtured by it" (Bellah, et al.,
1985:333).
The position of civic trustee covers a range of
responsibilities: elected and appointed members of legislative,
administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial councils; board
,1
members of publicly-owned or -regulated entities; and offices
with statutory functions. In some cases, the trust nature of
45


those responsibilities will be narrowly delineated (i.e., a
municipal animal protection officer). In other instances, the
trustee will have wide discretionary powers and there will be
high expectations of that individual's competence and
judgment. Effective execution of the trusteeship will require
understanding and implementing understandings of the public
philosophy'of the state.and the common good, and participating
in the discourse through which public ideas evolve.
It is\civic trusteeship as applied to board members of
charitable organizations that will be the concern of this study.
For board members of charities also are civic trustees, and their
responsibilities fall into that latter category of high expectations
of competence and judgment. They are entrusted in law with
the fiduciary responsibility of directing the organization so that
it fulfills its charitable purposes on behalf of the wider
community, and effectively employs the public and private
funds contributed for those ends. Since the charitable activity
occurs in a social and political context, effective board members
46


require a broad understanding of public problems, aims and
common values.
As often happens, this ideal frequently falls short in its
practice, In their landmark study of U.S. civic values, Bellah, et
i;
al. (1985) complained that in their interviews they seldom found
acknowledgement of an interconnectedness, "one's 'debts to
i
society' that binds one to others whether one wants to accept it
or not" (p. 194). More often, the dominant language for talking
about public commitment was that of the civic-minded
professional and the professional activist motivated by
community concern:
/
. .but they see the community largely in terms of a
variety of self-interested individuals and groups.
However else they differ, they tend to view the
community as a context in which a variety of interests
should be expressed and adjudicated. It seemed
particularly hard for those we interviewed to articulate
a language of citizenship based neither on the metaphor
of extended kinship nor on a conflict of interests. It was
difficult for them to conceive of a common good or a
public interest that recognizes economic, social, and
cultural differences between people but sees them all as
parts of a single society on which they all depend. (Pp.
191-192)
47


I
Despite the infrequency of its appearance among their
survey respondents, Bellah and his colleagues maintain that
this civic virtue and generosity of spirit remains a powerful
element within the American cultural tradition, even though it
is most often found among civic-minded professionals "as a
i
second language that expresses the civic ideal of friends who
sustain one another in pursuit of the common good" (p. 195).
'i
I
Organization of the Document
The document which follows is simply organized.
Chapter 2 will present a review of the literature relating to
voluntary action and democratic theory, interest group
formation/ interorganizational decision-making and types of
policy communities. Finally, the literature relating to the public
philosophy of the state and related aspects of the concept of the
common good will be examined.
Chapter 3 will present an overview of principal analytical
questions', in Canadian historical and political development, and
provide a brief history of the voluntary sector's roles and
48


functions during the country's key developmental periods.
Chapter 4 will discuss the research methodology
employed' in the Delphi survey and consultation intervention,
including the foundational literature, the reasons it was chosen,
i
the specifics of the study design, details of administrative
procedure! and how the data sought related to the research
questions;
Results of the Delphi and other survey instrumentation
respecting environmental variables are the subject of Chapter 5.
The findings will include discussion of the macro-policy
variables identified and prioritized by respondents.
Chapter 6 will report research results related to the
perceived future of the environmental variables, and
respondents' choices of interorganizational decision-making
mechanisms and structures.
Chapter 7 attempts to answer the question, "What
difference1 has this study made to our knowledge of Canada's
voluntary sector and its relationship to changes in the public
philosophy of the state and concepts of the common good and
49


I
civic trusteeship?" Using Van Til's (1988) models of voluntary
action as a starting point, a simple model will be posited of roles
and functions for voluntary organizations and the policy
communities of which they are a part in a democracy as a result
of predicted changes in one significant variable in the public
I
philosophy of the state: political ideology. Conclusions will be
drawn about present adaptive processes underway in the
Canadian voluntary sector and future trends. An agenda for
future research in the area will be identified.
Notes
1. The total figure is unpublished and this estimate was
supplied in a telephone call to a Revenue Canada official in
October, 1989.
,1
2. While considerable detail about the changing political
and social environment will be presented in Chapters 3 and 7, a
few historical facts will help the non-Canadian reader to
understand the current turbulence: (1) Between 1940 and 1975,
federal and provincial governments in Canada cooperated to
legislate a! sophisticated social welfare state. Between 1975 and
1977, during a federal-provincial national social welfare review,
it became clear there was no longer a broad consensus among
governments on the future social policy agenda. (2) In the early
1980s, some provincial governments beginning with British
50


Columbia -- began to dismantle social welfare programs and
privatize, in part, delivery of social services. (3) The early 1980s
also saw the signing of a new Constitutional agreement between
the federal government and the provinces and, for the first
time, enshrinement of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The
Charter protected individual freedoms but also provided (in
section one, the non obstante clause) for legislative override of
individual frights to protect the collective interests of the broader
community, and protected specific collective interests in other
clauses respecting affirmative action, aboriginal and treaty
rights, preservation and enhancement of multicultural heritage,
and minority language rights. Quebec Premier Rene Levesque,
alone among the premiers, declined to sign the new
Constitutional agreement. (4) In 1984, the long-reigning federal
Liberal government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau was defeated by the
Progressive Conservative party, led by Brian Mulroney, an
admirer of the economic and social policies of Margaret
Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who immediately declared
Canada "open for business. (5) The latter half of the 1980s was
characterized by declining federal transfer payments to the
provinces in support of social welfare and health programs.
Some provinces continued their own budgetary cutbacks, as
well, in response to regional economic problems or deficit
reduction programs. (6) In 1988, the federal government
negotiated! a free-trade agreement with the United States a
decision that caused bitter and acrimonious debate about the
agreement's merits versus its potential threat to Canadian jobs,
culture and social welfare "safety net." Divisions on this issue
were regional, as well as sectoral or partisan in nature, further
inflaming 'differences in views about the need for new federal-
provincial'Constitutional arrangements. (7) In 1988, Prime
Minister Mulroney initiated more Constitutional talks to
achieve amendments which would make the agreement
acceptable to Quebec. The result was "the Meech Lake Accord",
amendments drafted in a closed conference of the Prime
Minister and the 10 provincial premiers at the federal
government's conference/retreat centre at Meech Lake, Quebec.
Each premier agreed to legislate the provisions of the Accord
51


within a two-year period, ending June 23, 1990. The last nine
months of this period were filled with heated public debate and
legislative (manoeuvres in provinces where public feeling ran
high agairist the Accord which, among other provisions, called
for special 'treatment of Quebec as "a distinct society" and for
provincial (control of health and social welfare program
standards and regulations. Last-minute negotiations failed, and
the Accord's deadline expired, just one day before Quebec's
annual "national" holiday, St. Jean-Baptiste Day. Celebrations
were laced with nationalist fervour as Quebec Premier Robert
Bourassa complained bitterly that his province had been
"betrayed", particularly by legislative delays in Manitoba and the
opposition; of Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells. (9) 1989
and 1990 -- the period in which the Delphi survey was
conducted -- also was characterized by economic decline. Canada
was feeling the effects of a world-wide recession, there was
widespread concern (fuelled by the federal government) about
the size of'the national debt, and a trickle-then-a-flood of
manufacturing firms in industrialized Ontario fled south to take
advantage;of the new Free Trade Agreement, resulting in a loss
of nearly 300,000 jobs in the first year of the new trade deal. The
federal government implemented an unpopular seven per cent
value-added tax, the GST. Food-bank lines lengthened and
Toronto's Social Planning Council estimated that one-quarter of
the population of Canada's richest city had become dependent
on pensions, unemployment insurance and social welfare
payments (with the number of social welfare recipients expected
to reach 250,000 by late 1991, according to welfare officials).
Numerous; public opinion polls over a series of months gave
"approval ^ratings" to Prime Minister Mulroney of only 11-16 per
cent, the lowest recorded in polling history.
I
3. The published number of charities in 1982 was 45,600.
The increase to more than 65,000 in 1989-90 meant an increase of
42.5 per cent in the six-year period.
4. Much of this abridged history of the NVO was initially
reported in "Issues, Priorities and Structures of Sectoral
I
52


Interorganizational Relationships in the Canadian Voluntary
Sector: Some Preliminary Findings/' a paper I presented to the
Independent Sector/United Way Spring Research Forum: The
Nonprofit Sector (NGO's) in the United States and Abroad:
Cross-Cultural Perspectives, 15 March 1990, Boston, Mass..
5. These statements of purpose are from an undated
background sheet published by NVO in the late 1970s.
I:
6. Based on a telephone interview with Rose Potvin,
NVO Administrator, 9 September 1991.
7. From a letter sent to all Ministers of the Crown and
Members of Parliament, 18 March 1991, by Richard Bailey, Chair,
NVO.
8. Statistics drawn from "Federal Funding
Questionnaire Analysis", an undated report prepared by NVO in
late spring, 1991.
I
9. "Federal Funding -- Questionnaire Analysis", p. 4.
10. Ibid.
11. The term "independent sector" appears to have
originated, with Richard Cournuelle, Reclaiming the American
Dream (New York: Random House, 1965). The use of "third
sector" as:a descriptor has been widespread: Theodore Levitt,
The Third Sector (New York: AMACOM, 1973); Commission
on Private, Philanthropy and Public Needs, Giving in America:
Toward a Stronger Voluntary Sector (Washington: author,
1975); Waldemar A. Neilsen, The Endangered Sector (New
York: Columbia University Press, 1979) and The Third Sector:
Keystone of a Caring Society (Washington: Independent Sector,
1980); andjames Douglas, Why Charity? The Case for a Third
Sector (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1983). "Nonprofit sector"
has been favoured by Estelle James (ed.), The Nonprofit Sector
in International Perspective (New York: Oxford, 1989) and
53


Burton Weisbrod, Nonprofit Economy (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1988). "Voluntary sector" has been
most closely associated with numerous publications by David
Horton Smith (among the earliest with colleagues Richard
Reddy and Burt Baldwin [eds.], Voluntary Action Research: 1972
[Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1972]) and Jon Van Til (most
recently in Mapping the Third Sector [New York: Foundation
Center, 1988]).
I
12. For a theoretical taxonomy of 14 types of voluntary
activity which might be included within the sector, see David
Horton Smith, Richard Reddy and Burt Baldwin, "Types of
Voluntaryi Action: A Definitional Essay", in Voluntary Action
Research: \1972, edited by David Horton Smith, Richard D.
Reddy and Burt R. Baldwin (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1972),
159-196.
13. David Horton Smith makes additional arguments for
a broad definition of the voluntary sector to include member-
benefit organizations in "Four Sectors or Five? Retaining the
Member-Benefit Sector," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
Quarterly 20(2):137-150.
jl
14. : Van Til draws his five tectonic forces from the
following sources: bureaucratization (Max Weber), mass
democratization (Alex de Toqueville), power and oligarchical
control (Michels), economic concentration (Karl Marx), and
interpenetration of sectors (Talcott Parsons).
15. For a more complete discussion of the mediating role
of Canadian voluntary organizations, see Margaret Prang,
"Networks and Associations and the Nationalizing of
Sentiment:'in English Canada," in National Politics and
Community in Canada, edited by R.K. Carty and W. P Ward
(Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986), 48-62;
Jacquelyn Wolf and Tim Sale, "Using Network Analysis in
Human Service System Planning: Fitting the Pieces Together,"
Business Quarterly 50(3):30-35; and Jacquelyn Wolf, "A
54


Comparison of the Role of the Voluntary Sector in the United
States and Canada," The Philanthropist/Le Philanthrope 5(3):3-
16.
16. In Essays in the Public Philosophy (Boston: Little
Brown, 1955).
17. See Everett Ladd, Transformations of the American
Party System: Political Coalitions from the New Deal to the
1970s (New York: Norton, 1975).
18. .Robert B. Reich (ed.), The Power of Public Ideas
Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1988), 3.
19. Webster's New World Dictionary of the American
Language, !2d ed., s.v. "entrust," "trust" and "trustee".
55


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The myth of individualism may retain its
grip until we are forced by mounting difficulties
to recognize its fatal limitations.
Tom McCollough
Introduction
As .mentioned at the close of Chapter 1, this study is
grounded in a the mixed soil of several scholarly traditions in
order to answer the research questions: Why has no strong
national voluntary sector-based coalition formed in Canada? Is
it because voluntary organizations are too myopic? Is it because
they see ijio collective benefits from linking strongly? Is it
because of external factors related to Canadian governance and
the country's evolving public philosophy of the state? This
chapter will set the stage by discussing theories of voluntarism
in relationship to democracy. This discussion will be linked to
literature relating to the formation of voluntary interest groups,
interorganizational decision-making, types of policy


I
I
communities and the relevance of all this to socio-political
transitions; The literature respecting "the public philosophy of
the state" and "the common good" will also be examined.
Voluntarism and Democracy
Van Til's (1988) pioneering work in this area analyses five
forms of democratic theory with respect to voluntarism:
populism, idealism, pluralism, social democracy and neo-
corporatism. Three types of voluntary activity are considered:
service volunteering (alleviation of distress or enhancement of
quality of life for groups identified as being in need), self-help
volunteering (advancing the goals of those sharing a common
interest or perspective), and grassroots volunteering (aimed at
clarifying and advancing the interests of citizens at the local
level of socio-political organization).
Populism is characterized by its belief in the importance
of decision-making by all members of a constituency, "direct and
,i
unmediated, on those issues of most central concern to the
constituency" (p. 41). The New England town meeting, or the
I
57


I
town-square meetings of a Swiss canton are among the purest
examples of populism, and there is general agreement that it
functions only in small communities or at the most localized
level of decision-making. Van Til (1988) concludes that
populism would have little use for service volunteering but
grassroots action or self-help may be central.
Idealism assumes an enlightened and interested citizenry,
which seeks to resolve public questions in the context of mutual
discussion and rational dialogue. Among its proponents is
Theodore Lowi (1969), advocating for "juridical democracy" in
which constitutionalism becomes the basis for creation and
production of rights, justice and legitimacy. Van Til (1988)
concludes that idealists are antithetical to voluntary activity,
seeing it a!s particularistic and engendering the growth of private
bureaucracies requiring public observation and regulation:
Only when legimated by the active voice and will of the
people does the organized voluntary impulse come to be
valued by the idealist. (P. 50)
Pluralism assumes society is composed of competing groups
and personal interests. Political participation is reluctantly
l'
I
58


necessary to protect those interests and policy is created through
achieving a balance among competing groups. Small wonder,
Van Til (1988) concludes, that voluntary associations have
flourished in contemporary North America, so dominated in
recent years by pluralist philosophy. Service volunteering is
valued for its participatory and associational contributions. Self-
help movements increase the competitive strengths of under-
represented groups. Grassroots organizing may bring together a
loosely knit group of people troubled about a local problem.
Volunteering brings order and civility to pluralist decision-
making.
Social democracy is particularly concerned with the
reduction of inequality and the special role of the state in
assuring democracy. "Commonwealth" institutions are required
to find new ways of organizing economic and political power so
that more people can participate in democratic decision-making.
Where required, the state must assure that the needs of those
unable to effectively plead their own case are heard and, to some
extent, met. While social democrats view volunteering
59


somewhat'positively, Van Til (1988) writes, service volunteering
is the most controversial because of its "band-aid" and noblesse
oblige connotations. That is, it does not really resolve
fundamental inequalities within society. Self-help
volunteering, however, is strongly valued, as is grassroots
organizing.
I
Neo-corporatism sees democracy as balancing the only
three interests that matter in the world of power: business,
government and labour with business interests pre-eminent as
i'
reflecting most nearly the needs of the marketplace. Where the
free marked operates as unfettered as possible, the need for
voluntary Activity to assist those who deserve assistance is
reduced because of the benefits of employment and the "trickle-
down" effects of capital investment. One might argue that
ii
neither the U.S. nor Canada has a neo-corporatist tradition, as
does much of contemporary Europe. The governments of
Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Brian Mulroney have all been
philosophically based upon neo-conservatism. And to both the
neo-corporatist and the neo-conservative, the major value of
60


volunteering is in the tax savings it saves. Massive state
interventions, or state assistance for voluntary interventions, in
social change activity and redistribution of wealth are seen as
inappropriate and futile. Neo-conservative Charles Murray's
conclusion in Losing Ground (1984) illustrates this perspective:
My conclusion is that social programs in a democratic
society tend to produce net harm in dealing with the most
difficult problems. They inherently tend to have enough of
an inducement to produce bad behaviour and not enough
of a solution to stimulate good behavior; and the more
difficult the problem, the more likely it is that this
relationship will prevail. (E 218)
Van Til (1988) concludes that voluntarism has two faces
in democracy. On the one hand, it contains elements valued by
pluralists 'and populists; on the other hand, it contains structures
i,
which inhibit idealistic dialogue and social democratic equity.
Hi$ analysis needs more flesh, however, to lead us toward
further conclusions about interactivity between political
I
ideology, public philosophy and voluntary sector role and
functioning. If one combines Manzer's (1985) derivatives of
Macpherson's (1977) analysis of democratic theory with Van Til's
conclusions, a broader picture emerges of the values which
I
61


underly governance biases within the respective variants of
democratic theory. Table 2.1 on the next page summarizes these.
Manzer's (1985) insights add a needed dimension: How
do adherents of these forms of democratic theory view human
nature? What do their views lead them to conclude about the
appropriate institutional instruments for public policy-making?
What do they believe is the most valuable outcome of good
policy-making? It is these instrumental values which lead them
to their conclusions about the desirability or shortcomings of
Van Til's forms of volunteering. (Note: Manzer's ideas are
discussed in more detail in Chapter 3's consideration of the
Canadian; public philosophy of the state.) Manzer's insights, in
fact, go some way toward better explaining Van Til's next
developmental step: five theoretical models of voluntary action.
As Figure: 2.1 suggests, the five models may be classified as
derivative (in which the voluntary sector has no special role,
but is either a marginal economic or political construction),
sectoral (a distinctive role, requiring a voluntary sector, so that it
62


Table 2.1. Values and Biases of Democratic Theory Forms and Their Views of
Types of Volunteering
Theory Form Grassroots _View-oL___ Human Nature Institutional Bias Highest Value Type, of .Volunteering Service Self-Help
Populist cooperative direct rule equality 0 + +
Idealist cooperative judicial right 0 0
Pluralist competitive legislative freedom + + +
Social Democracy cooperative legislative equality + + +
Neo-corporatist/ neo-conservative competitive executive order + 0 0
Symbols: = negatively valued; + = positively valued; 0 = no opinion
Source: "Type of Volunteering" portion of table reprinted with
permission from Mapping the Third Sector, by Jon Van Til, 53
copyright 1988 by the Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Ave., New York,
NY 10003-3076.


may interact with other sectors), or action models (involving a
conception of voluntary action that allows it to reside in any
institutional context, not just the voluntary sector).
I
Essentially
derivative
models
Essentially
sectoral
models
Essentially
action
models
1) Neo-: 2) 3)
corporatist/ Pluralist Populist
neo-conser- (essentially (essentially
vative organizational) direct
(essentially action)
economic
5) 4)
Social Idealist
Democratic (essentially
(essentially informed
political); i | action)
--Source: Reprinted with permission from Mapping the
Third Sector, by Jon Van Til, p. 83 copyright 1988 by
the Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Ave., New York, NY
10003-3076.
Figure 2.11| Five Models of Voluntary Action
In the first pattern, volunteering is perceived as a value-
i
linked and inexpensive surrogate for governmental action and
64


II
!
responsibility. The fifth pattern focuses on reorganizing
relations of power and economic control. The voluntary sector
i
has a limited ancillary role here, central only to political
organizations which can help assure productive social change.
I
In both derivative models, then, the voluntary sector is
relatively insignificant as a social force. Models one and five are
mirror images of each other.
4
Ij
The j second pattern rests on pluralist theory and places
primary attention on roles of interacting associations. The
existence of a voluntary sector provides a required balance
between private and public interests in society.
The;, third pattern highlights the role of the citizen against
jl
;i
that of corporate and governmental mega-institutions.
II
Independent citizen action is "good", but not the creation of large
i.
voluntary j sector bureaucracies and institutions. The fourth
pattern places the emphasis on full and reasoned dialogue.
Active citizen participation is valued, but not the intervening
i
presence of bureaucratic institutions.
1
ii
65


In Chapter 7, Van Til's postulation will be examined with
respect to the two models of voluntary action which have been
philosophically predominant in North American in recent
times: pluralism and neo-conservatism. In light of the survey
results reported in Chapters 5 and 6, and the NVO's case history,
does the model correspond to real-world performance? Chapter
7 will argue that it does.
Voluntary Interest Group Formation and Linkage
Most of our theories of interest-group formation arise
from the observation of contemporary real-world phenomena.
It is hardly surprising, then, that most reflect a pluralistic
understanding of associations and democracy, since this has been
the dominant ideological variant of democracy in North
America in the latter half of the 20th century.
Olson (1971) began the scholarly pattern with his view that
collective action arises primarily from self-seeking and
competitive motives. He structured his analysis around a then-
new theoretical concept of a collective good (i.e., available for
66


consumption by all individuals in a production set). Olson's
model assumed that each individual is rational, perfectly
informed, motivated by economic gain, and an independent
decision-miaker. He also assumed that the collective good is
infinitely divisible, that marginal costs of their provision are
positive arid increasing, and that marginal benefits of obtaining
them are positive and decreasing.
Olson's model, however, omits the operating context of
i
the organization entirely. Its rationale for group formation --
economic self-interest is also limited and too simplistic for
i
much reahworld comparison. Moe (1980) says that voluntary
group formation models must include other purposive
incentives .for individual action, such as altruism, belief in a
cause of ideology, loyalty, beliefs about right and wrong,
I1
camaraderie, friendship, love, acceptance, security, status,
prestige, ppwer, religious beliefs and racial prejudice (p. 113).
In particular, Moe argues, the purposive incentives of the
group's leaders will also affect the group's ability to bargain, and
its representativeness and stability.
67


Dahl (1982) suggested that associations present a
mechanism through which conflicts of values, interests and
views can; be resolved, or at least accommodated with a social
balance. 'Douglas' (1987) summary of political theories of
nonprofit organizations concludes that if we didn't have
nonprofit associations in a pluralistic and democratic state, we
would have to invent them. (Neo-conservative commentators
i
on the "Great Society" and the "Just Society" would snort
ironically that we did.):
... .it is almost impossible to imagine the workings of a
modern democratic system without a whole constellation
of lobbies, interest groups, and the like to articulate the
range1 of interests and values that must be reconciled by the
political system. ... (E 52)
Douglas (1987) identifies the weaknesses of the nonprofit
sector as its tendency toward duplication of mission or service
("Yet to rationalize the situation by allowing only one to exist
would forfeit the opportunity for competition between them. .
[p. 52]), fragmentation of interests into narrow groupings, and
too much competition leading to adversarial relations.
68


Jenkins (1987) discusses more specifically the formation of
nonprofit advocacy organizations, citing three general
approaches: traditional "disturbance" and "entrepreneurial"
theories (Berry, 1977), and the more recent "political
opportunity" formulations (McAdam, 1987; Walker, 1983;
Jenkins, 1985; Bremner, 1985). Disturbance theories suggest that
advocacy groups emerge when social changes create strain or
discontinuities in social relations, ranging from war to general
discontent. by a sub-group. Entrepreneurial theories focus on the
efforts of leaders who play key roles in building a new advocacy
organization by focusing on issue definition and organizing.
(See also Cobb, Ross, and Ross, 1977, on the links between
leadership and getting on the formal public agenda.) Political
opportunity theories suggest emergence of new groups when
environmental conditions are favourable (e.g., civil rights
groups during the 1960s).
These approaches are not mutually exclusive and all
acknowledge the importance of organizational operating context.
Jenkins (1987) attempts to synthesize them, concluding that
69


entrepreneurship and political opportunities are the most
important factors in advocacy group formation consistent with
a pluralist analysis. Groups formed as a result of crisis or
disturbance are more likely to be disorganized and politically
marginal, lacking leadership or political access, he suggests
again, consistent with a pluralist analysis which equates
associatiorial strength with the structural capacity to "win" at the
socio-political bargaining table, gaining benefits and profile for
the represented group.
Once formed, expectations of voluntary group behaviour
continue to be contingent in specific ways upon perceptions of
outside influences, as Moe (1980) so clearly demonstrates. In
order to produce/provide collective goods, the organization's
leadership must be centrally concerned with establishing
instrumental relationships with public officials; beneficial
relationships with nongovernmental groups and organizations
(ranging from other voluntary associations to business
I
corporations); and strategies to take rivals, or the threat of rivals,
into account.
70


Iriterorganizational Decision-making Linkages
In examining the NVO as a case of broad-spectrum
inter organizational coalition in the Canadian voluntary sector,
both motivation and resultant program management choices are
relevant. If, as hypothesized, the roles and functions of the
voluntary sector change in response to fluctuations in the public
philosophy of the state, it follows that sectoral
interorganizational linkage choices and structures .also should be
responsive to that interactive environment. The scholarly
literature relating to interorganizational linkage and decision-
making originates in the mid-1960s and has been primary
concerned with two questions:
What causes organizations to form linkages?
When they form linkages, what are the characteristics
of those which are successful?
Two general models have emerged which attempt to
explain why interorganizational networks are formed and how
they are maintained. The political economic model of networks
71


(Benson, 1975; Galaskiewicz, 1979; Zald, 1970) asserts that external
environmental forces -- e.g., influences from funding sources,
regulations and legal mandates have the greatest impact on
collective activity. The resource dependence model of networks
(Aldrich, 1979; Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978; Van de Ven, 1980)
I
argues that organizational decision-makers are most influenced
by their need to acquire scarce resources when contemplating
collective activity.
Schermerhorn (1975) has summarized the motivational
research with respect to network linkages, noting that
organizations will seek out or be receptive to cooperation:
when faced with situations of resource scarcity or
performance distress, such as acquiring the capacity to tackle
i
indivisible system-wide problems requiring combined
resources (see also Galaskiewicz, 1985; Gray, 1985; Metcalfe,
1976), spreading risks and/or reducing organizational
vulnerability (see also Benson, 1975; Metcalfe, 1976; Galaskiewicz,
1985; Gray, 1985), obtaining greater resources than
independently possible to meet an organizational challenge
72


(see also Aiken and Hage, 1968; Benson, 1975; Van de Ven,
1976; Schmidt and Kochan, 1977; Hall, et al., 1977; Inzerilli,
i
1979; Van de Ven and Walker, 1984; Galaskiewicz, 1985) and
rationalizing areas of dispute or competition (see also
Benson, 1975; Van de Ven, 1976; Galaskiewicz, 1985).
when cooperation per se takes on a positive value;
and/or
when a powerful extra-organizational force demands
this activity (see also Laumann, Galaskiewicz and Marsden,
1978). ;
It should be noted, however, that coalition relationships
are not always dependent upon shared core values among
organizations. Douglas and Wildavsky (1982), in their
i:1
monograph on the motivation and activities of environmental
l
groups, contrast the values dominant in influential
organizations with those on the periphery of coalitions.
1
Peripheral,,^organization values may be intolerant or fearful of
the core values of more dominant coalition members and these
73


perceptions can lead to resistance to compromise within the
network/ coalition.
However, the literature, Schermerhorn (1975) notes,
indicates that the perceived benefits of cooperation can induce
|
linkages even where there are associated costs such as a loss of
i
i
decision-making power, unfavourable ramifications for
organizational image or identity, or required direct expenditures
of scarce organizational resources. In other words, as Whetten
and Leung (1979) also conclude, organizations wili create formal
linkages arid pay the associated costs if they think it will help
them fulfil their organizational mission or gain greater control
over their environment.
The issue of costs of cooperation has, however, been
somewhat more understated in the literature than that of
benefits. It is generally acknowledged that some degree of
organizational independence and power must be ceded to other
members for a coalition to be effective (Northwest Regional
Educational Laboratory, 1980), and that cooperation requires
some redefinition of established understandings, processes and
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procedures, among and within coalition members (Grupe, 1971;
Gray, 1985). It also seems clear that cooperation will prolong the
time it normally takes to accomplish things (Grupe, 1971;
Schermerhorn, 1975; Van de Ven, 1976; Northwest Regional
Education Laboratory, 1980; Van de Ven and Walker, 1984), in
part because mutual trust must be learned through a dialectic
moving from low-risk exchanges to higher-risk exchanges (Van
de Ven, 1976; Gillespie and Mileti, 1979). Collaborators also must
contend with one another's past political relationships
(Schermerhorn, 1975) and the disturbances occasioned by new
political alliances within the coalition (Benson, 1975).
I
Once motivated to form linkages, there are theoretical
constructs about what makes such linkages successful, although
i
there is still relatively little empirical data in this area. Some of
the most developed work in addressing this question comes
from public administration-oriented scholars (Warren, 1967;
Tuite, Chisholm, Radnor, 1972; Benson, 1975; Rogers, Whetten,
et al., 1982; Emmert and Crow, 1983). Some of the factors
contributing to success identified in these studies include
75


structure, authority, dispute mediation mechanisms, and
perceived legitimacy of leaders and purpose. The perceptual
nature of success measures is emphasized. Emmert and Crow's
1983 work suggests that an essential part of successful
interorganizational program management is correctly assessing
the nature of the interorganizational environment and
planning implementation strategies, mirroring the conclusions
of Moe (1980) and other researchers of single-organization
formation with regard to the importance of environment.
Emmert and Crow argue that program management within the
organization-set environment (where organizations have direct
links to the interorganizational program) may require different
strategies than management within a dynamic action-set (an
aggregate of organizations forming less permanent relationships
and possessing more indirect links with one another).
Developing countervailing power and decreasing dependency
may be most appropriate in the stable environment of an
organization-set, while organizational design may be a better
strategy for the more dynamic action-set.
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Linking Organizations and Democracy: Policy Communities
Policy communities are a special configuration of
interorganizational relationship. Heclo (1978) developed the
concept of issue networks to describe the loosely-coupled clusters
of individuals, business and voluntary organizations, and
government agencies involved in particular issues. An
organization may belong to several such networks concurrently
or over time, as network boundaries shift with changes in issues.
Pross (1986) adapted Heclo's concept to the Canadian situation,
suggesting the notion of policy community to take into account
the concentration of power in a parliamentary system and the
more intimate nature of Canadian issue networks resulting from
the country's relatively small population size.
Both Pross' and Heclo's models acknowledge the close
interdependence of government and society in a democracy,
along with a relatively high level of fragmentation of authority
and diffusion of expertise. A policy community may have
within it one or more formal interorganizational networks. For
example, the policy community on child welfare issues may
77


include provincial and federal officials in one or more
ministries,: associations of child welfare organizations or
workers/managers, and business associations. As Lindquist
(1991) notes:
The critical insight is that non-governmental actors such as
business professional or other interest associations may well
be involved in policy design and formation. Exerting less
influence, but possessing considerable expertise and some
capability to affect the policy agenda, particularly through
critical commentary, are the remaining members of the
policy community the "attentive public". .(who)
constitute Canada's equivalent to governments-in-waiting,
who, along with their experts, wait for the next election or
external perturbation which may give them access to the
levers of power. (E 5)
Coleman (1988) and Coleman and Skogstad (1990) attempt
to explain the pattern of public policy in different sectors by
adopting a structural approach which is useful to this study.
Focusing their attention on the organizational and coalition
actors within policy communities, they identify and characterize
several recognizable ideal types of policy networks -- pressure
pluralist, clientele pluralist, state-directed, concertation, and
corporatist by contrasting policy-weak versus policy-strong and
advocacy participation.
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Pressure-pluralist networks may contain many organized
interests and autonomous associations, but there is considerable
competition among them. More critically, there is no pre-
eminent actor or mechanism for effective and legitimate
mediation among these competing interests. Lindquist (1991)
says this situation is further complicated in Canada because
associations and interests often are organized at both provincial
and national levels (where government interests may also
compete). Lindquist says this style of policy community leads to
a policy-making process which might be loosely called
"disjointed incrementalism" (p. 9).
Clientele-pluralist networks differ in that some non-
,1
governmental interests are well-organized (although they may
be competitive) and able to exert pressure on state actors.
Lindquist (1991) argues policy-making in this network is reactive,
more concerted, and fully interested in maintaining the status
quo.
State-directed networks are the reverse of clientele-
pluralist policy communities. Non-governmental actors are
79


weak and diffuse in their organization, or may not have
overcome economic, geographic or ideological barriers to
common action. The state has all the policy design capacity here
and, Lindquist (1991) says, policy-making is "anticipatory" (p. 12)
in nature, e.g. restructuring sectors or establishing a new set of
sectoral interests.
Concertation networks include strong associations and
strong government, resulting in negotiation and perhaps
cooperative planning efforts. A corporatist network also
balances strong associations and strong government but, within
the associational universe, one system (e.g., business) may be
balanced by' another equally powerful association set (e.g.,
labour). Here, Lindquist (1991) says, government's role is to
develop and administer a process by which societal interests can
arrive at agreements.
What do these literatures regarding interest group
formation, interorganizational linkage and policy community
patterns tell us to expect when investigating the relationship
80


between voluntary organizations and the public philosophy of
the state? Simply put, they would predict:
Voluntary organizations will be formed on the basis of
core values representing a wide range of purposive intents,
including but not limited to, economic self-interest.
The success of such organizations will rely heavily on
their capacity to understand and/or work strategically with
outside actors in their operating environment, including
government, other non-governmental organizations, and rivals.
For many such organizations, the founding core values
-- or core values of the leadership -- will adversely affect
organizational representativeness and stability and, therefore,
success.
Formal interorganizational linkages will be hard to
form and sustain because of competing values and capabilities,
and resistance to compromise.
As part of policy communities, these factors will tend
to make voluntary organizations part of weak associational
81


systems, resulting in operating patterns of pressure-pluralist,
clientele-pluralist or state-directed types.
The Literature Relating to the Public Philosophy of the
State
and the Common Good
The Foundational Arguments of Communitarianism
Why. is some understanding of communitarian thought
central to this study? A key hypothesis is that voluntary sector
organization roles and functions are highly interactive with
changes in the public philosophy of the state in which they
operate. The argument will be built in discussing the historical
evolution of Canadian governance and public philosophy
(Chapter 3) that a likely outcome of the current constitutional
turbulence is a post-liberal society that embraces many
communitarian values. Chapter 7 will be concerned with the
theoretical impact of a more communitarian society on the role
and functioning of voluntary organizations. First, we must be
clear about what values the communitarian philosophy of the
state embraces.
82