Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Millar, M. E. and Abraham, A., Towards the development of an integrative governance framework for the third sector: a theoretical review and analysis, in Proceedings of the 8th Biennnial Conference of Australia & New Zealand Third Sector Research, Navigating New Waters, Adelaide, Australia, 26-28 November 2006.


This paper reviews the theoretical approaches taken in the governance literature in order to assess the relevance of their application to the third sector and to develop an integrative governance framework to help guide third sector organisations as they seek to improve their governance practices. Governance has been studied extensively in the corporate sector, and also, to a much lesser degree, in the third sector. However, there is evidence that a large gap still exists between what is prescribed as good governance and what has been empirically demonstrated as good governance. Due to the complexity of governance and the current differing views on what constitutes best governance practice, this paper proposes that it would be appropriate to adopt a comprehensive framework built on current empirical and theoretical knowledge. The paper identifies and discusses prominent contrasts between the corporate sector and the third sector. A review of existing frameworks is followed by the proposal of a new framework to guide third sector organisations in their quest to improve current governance approaches.