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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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A race to the bottom? exploring variations in employment conditions in the voluntary sector

Cunningham, I.R. (2008) A race to the bottom? exploring variations in employment conditions in the voluntary sector. Public Administration, 86 (4). pp. 1033-1053. ISSN 0033-3298

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Abstract

This paper presents findings of a study examining state-voluntary sector inter-organizational relationships, and the capacity of third-sector organizations to exercise autonomy over employment matters in this relationship. The aim is to provide insights into an under-researched area of the inter-organizational literature, especially in relation to its employment implications. In doing so, it reveals how, as with broader studies of inter-organizational relations, state-voluntary sector relations are not homogenous and therefore lead to differing implications for employment. In particular, three Types of voluntary organization emerge, employing, with varying degrees of success, various strategies to protect the terms and conditions of their employees in the face of cost-cutting pressures from funding bodies. As industrialized countries increasingly turn to the third sector for the provision of social services, it argues that even for the strongest of these organizations, there are long-term risks for staff morale and therefore quality of care provided by the sector if organizations fail to manage these external pressures from funders.