The Industrial Organization of Local Non-Profit Industries: Structure, Conduct Performance
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
For non-profit industries, the dimensions of performance are different, as discussed below. Ideally, we would like to use such a framework to compare how performance compares in different industries in different places and to explain why the differences exist. Some of the relevant features of industry structure and firm behavior may include the following:
Is the industry comprised of many small organizations or one or more larger one?
Are there significant economies of scale?
What is the turnover among its organizations?
In what ways do organizations compete? For funding, staff, clients, influence?
In what ways do they collaborate?
What are the effects of competition or collaboration on industry performance?
What is the effect on innovation of having organizations that operate in multiple local markets?
Is the industry growing or shrinking?
To what extent do organizations like a local United Way affect the industry?
To what extent do federal and state funding and regulation affect the structure, conduct and performance of the local industries?
What criteria should be used to assess the performance of non-profit industries? Criteria can include the following:
The scope of the industry’s efforts relative to the problems being addressed.
Equity in the distribution of services
The effectiveness per unit of opportunity cost.
Reflectiveness—support for useful data collection and industry improvement
Responsiveness to local people
Consideration of the merits of this framework depends on several factors. One is the feasibility of collecting comparable and reliable data. Another is whether local industries in social services are really so constrained by state and federal funding and guidelines that the truly local features make little difference.
As a step in this analysis, the paper will develop estimates of performance in two non-profit industries and will also examine the structure and conduct issues for these industries.