The Operation of
Managing Social Impact

Research Paper


This paper analyses the relevance of operations management principles in the success of not-for-profit organisations and public services providers.

The argument first explores the issue of quality management through a redefinition of "value as social benefit" (departing from the traditional operations mantra "value as wealth"), and the challenges posed by the shift from outputs to outcomes. Having established a quantifiable scale for value, the application of lean philosophy in the context of public services is discussed next. Forces external (such as purpose alignment or citizen perceptions) and internal (such as process visibility or social workers’ resistance to change) to organisations are explored to provide further insights on the success and failure of such implementations. As a result of a lean integration between organisations, the capacity management strategies within not-for-profits become increasingly potent. Considering that volunteering enables a significant share of not-for-profits' capacity and that, since 2009, a decreasing number of individuals are involved in this activity, the paper concludes with a section focused on successful volunteer management and retention practices, as tools to respond and adapt to social and organisational demands.

Paper Title: Beyond Profit maximisation. The application of operations management practices in the UK not-for-profit and public sectors (2015)

  • Corporate Author: FERM Association
  • Year: 2015
  • Fields: Ops. Management, Volunteer Management, Org. Strategy