Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management, Operations and Marketing


A good flow of knowledge is important in all organisations including not-for-profits (NFPs). It helps improve the quality of services provided to customers and, in the case of NFPs, to people in need, by improving competitiveness and overall effectiveness. Limited research has explored stickiness, defined as difficulties in transferring information or knowledge, in NFPs.

This study uses stickiness as a lens to explore difficulties in transferring information or knowledge in a NFP, The Lebanese Association of SOS Children’s Villages (LebSOS), and the impact of this on LebSOS’s ability to reach its goals. LebSOS is a subsidiary of SOS Children’s Villages International (SCVI), a global NFP that provides alternative care to children and assists families who suffer from hardship and find caring for their children difficult.

The study adopts an exploratory inductive approach, analysing qualitative data from multiple sources to understand how the NFP operates. The results reveal stickiness issues in four LebSOS processes: P1: Raising Children, P2: Fundraising, P3: Accounting, and P4: Family Strengthening. Fourteen stickiness sources are identified, none of which appears in all four processes. However some sources affect multiple processes, including limited training and shortage of employees which prevent the transfer of knowledge which used to occur in the past, and reduce recipients’ motivation. Each of these appears in two processes. The remaining 11 sources are found in one process each. They include difficulties in sharing information using the available media, and operating in dangerous environments. These sources were found in the fundraising and family strengthening processes respectively. From these findings, I suggest how LebSOS could address stickiness and how the findings could apply to similar organisations.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.