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Jones, J.A. (2018). Parallel Process in the Nonprofit Sector. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 18(1):1-19.

(2018). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 18(1):1-19


Parallel Process in the Nonprofit Sector

Jennifer Amanda Jones

Nonprofit organisations may experience internal conflicts that are structurally congruent with the external problems addressed through the mission. This article suggests that such congruence is a manifestation of parallel process, a phenomenon scholars have documented in intimate, helping-oriented relationships and, also, in organisations. This phenomenon has been documented but not yet studied in the nonprofit sector (also known as the third sector). This paper first briefly reviews the research on parallel process. Second, the paper develops logical and theoretical reasons why parallel process might manifest in the nonprofit sector and, then, theory-based criteria for identifying such instances. Third, the paper uses the aforementioned criteria to identify and analyse two brief cases studies of parallel process in the nonprofit sector, offering readers an example of the sorts of insights available via this line of inquiry. Finally, the paper explores the implications of this phenomena to the nonprofit sector and suggests directions for future research.

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