Measuring Outcomes: A Strategic Choice Perspective

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The assessment of organizational performance known as outcome measurement, or OM, is increasingly important to nonprofits as they are held to higher accountability standards. Heather MacIndoe of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Emily Barman of Boston University published “How Organizational Stakeholders Shape Performance Measurement in Nonprofits: Exploring a Multidimensional Measure” on May 16, 2012 in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, examining the role that organizational stakeholders play in influencing managers’ decisions to use OM:

Making sense of how organizations come to adopt specific practices is of perennial concern to nonprofit scholars and practitioners. It is well established that nonprofits do not operate in a vacuum but are influenced by a range of external and internal influences. However, scholars disagree about how to measure those factors—whereas an environmental determinism perspective emphasizes the critical role of structural and environmental factors, the strategic choice approach suggests that those forces matter most when organizational members perceive them to have an important impact on organizational practices.

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