Organisational decline and renewal in an Austalian voluntary association

2017-06-07T05:41:07Z (GMT) by Minahan, Stella Inglis, Loretta
Voluntary associations are an integral form of social capital in democratic societies. These associations make vital contributions to community life. Many associations are successful in meeting the needs of their constituency and thrive over many decades. These long serving associations are not static vehicles, like all organisations, they are subject to internal and external pressures for change. It is a significant challenge for volunteer associations to maintain 'a watch' on the external environment whilst responding to the needs of their stakeholders. Previously vibrant associations may experience a decline in membership and social standing as a result of significant changes in society and technology. We track a nonprofit voluntary association from its inception in the 1960s through it responses to major environmental turbulence during the late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s when the survival of the organisation was in doubt. We outline the changes that took place from 2003 that reorientated, revitalised and reshaped the association including a major shift in focus from services to members to services to the community. This study provides academics and practitioners with an appreciation of the forces of organisational decline and a case study of successful change in a voluntary association.

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