Comparing Workplace Organization Design Based on Form of Ownership: Nonprofit, For-Profit, and Local Government

Avner Ben-Ner, Ting Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study offers hypotheses concerning differences in organization design among for-profit (FP), nonprofit (NP), and local government (LG) organizations. We empirically examine design in a sample of 105 Minnesota nursing homes, using data from an original survey. The findings generally support our hypotheses: (a) NP and LG nursing homes delegate more decision-making authority to their nurses than their FP counterparts, (b) NP and LG nurses enjoy greater efficiency wages than their FP counterparts, (c) NP homes rely more on the social networks of their employees to recruit new employees than FP and LG homes, (d) FP tend to use more performance-based incentives than NP and LG, and (e) there is little difference in the extent to which FP, NP, and LG homes monitor their nurses. The differences that we do detect are significant but are probably tempered by regulation, market competition, and institutional pressures for similarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-359
Number of pages20
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by the Aspen Institute Grant NSRF 2005-1, “A Comparative Study of Organizational Structure, Behavior and Performance.”

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2013.


  • decision-making
  • local government
  • nonprofit and for-profit comparison
  • nursing homes
  • organization design
  • organization structure


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