Between discredit and trust: Reflections on the dimensions of legitimacy of Third Sector organisations

Daniel Galland, Begona Román

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Abstract

The last century witnessed the extraordinary peak of the third sector, essentially represented by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who carry out an ample variety of activities with voluntary and non-lucrative aims. Until recently, the general public acknowledged the high level of legitimacy that theoretically distinguished NGOs from other types of organizations. However, much evidence reveals that NGOs face a number of ethical concerns and challenges. NGOs are criticized for neglect of their original goals, lack of accountability towards their stakeholders, absence of internal democracy, inefficiency concerning their processes and outcomes, and incoherence of their actions with respect to their missions. All these facts have weakened stakeholder trust and credibility towards them, and have questioned their capacity as regards future commitments to overcome the challenges that are demanded by the fields where NGOs carry out their activities. In light of this scenario, this research project seeks to strengthen the legitimacy associated with Third Sector organizations following a line of reasoning based on ethical principles, aiming to contribute in the task of defining the prominent role of NGOs in twenty-first century societies.

Translated title of the contributionBetween discredit and trust: Reflections on the dimensions of legitimacy of Third Sector organisations
Original languageOther
JournalRevista Comprendre: Revista Catalana de Filosofía
Volume11
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-89
Number of pages42
ISSN1139-9759
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Legitimacy
Discredit
Non-governmental Organizations
Third Sector
Stakeholders
Democracy
Accountability
Ethical Principles
General Public
Neglect
Scenarios
Credibility
Research Projects
Incoherence

Cite this

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title = "ONGs, entre el descr{\`e}dit i la confian{\cc}a.: Reflexions al voltant de les dimensions de legimitat del Tercer Sector",
abstract = "The last century witnessed the extraordinary peak of the third sector, essentially represented by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who carry out an ample variety of activities with voluntary and non-lucrative aims. Until recently, the general public acknowledged the high level of legitimacy that theoretically distinguished NGOs from other types of organizations. However, much evidence reveals that NGOs face a number of ethical concerns and challenges. NGOs are criticized for neglect of their original goals, lack of accountability towards their stakeholders, absence of internal democracy, inefficiency concerning their processes and outcomes, and incoherence of their actions with respect to their missions. All these facts have weakened stakeholder trust and credibility towards them, and have questioned their capacity as regards future commitments to overcome the challenges that are demanded by the fields where NGOs carry out their activities. In light of this scenario, this research project seeks to strengthen the legitimacy associated with Third Sector organizations following a line of reasoning based on ethical principles, aiming to contribute in the task of defining the prominent role of NGOs in twenty-first century societies. Udgivelsesdato: October 2009",
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ONGs, entre el descrèdit i la confiança. Reflexions al voltant de les dimensions de legimitat del Tercer Sector. / Galland, Daniel; Román, Begona.

In: Revista Comprendre: Revista Catalana de Filosofía, Vol. 11, No. 1, 10.2009, p. 47-89.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - The last century witnessed the extraordinary peak of the third sector, essentially represented by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who carry out an ample variety of activities with voluntary and non-lucrative aims. Until recently, the general public acknowledged the high level of legitimacy that theoretically distinguished NGOs from other types of organizations. However, much evidence reveals that NGOs face a number of ethical concerns and challenges. NGOs are criticized for neglect of their original goals, lack of accountability towards their stakeholders, absence of internal democracy, inefficiency concerning their processes and outcomes, and incoherence of their actions with respect to their missions. All these facts have weakened stakeholder trust and credibility towards them, and have questioned their capacity as regards future commitments to overcome the challenges that are demanded by the fields where NGOs carry out their activities. In light of this scenario, this research project seeks to strengthen the legitimacy associated with Third Sector organizations following a line of reasoning based on ethical principles, aiming to contribute in the task of defining the prominent role of NGOs in twenty-first century societies. Udgivelsesdato: October 2009

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