Quotation Van Puyvelde, Stijn, Huybrechts, Gert, Willems, Jurgen, Jegers, Marc, Bidee, Jemima, Vantilborgh, Tim, Pepermans, Roland. 2015. Optimal membership size and the governance of grassroots associations. The Social Science Journal. 52 (2), 141-147.




This paper explores the link between membership size and the governance of grassroots associations. The issue of mission preference heterogeneity is highlighted and its effect on membership size is analyzed by developing a model and conducting a numerical simulation. An important finding is that the degree of heterogeneity of mission preferences in the potential member population has a negative effect on the optimal number of members of the grassroots association. The paper ends with a discussion of the use of governance mechanisms to limit mission drift.


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  • Nonprofit
  • NGOs
  • heterogeneity
  • members
  • mission

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal The Social Science Journal
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Optimal membership size and the governance of grassroots associations
Volume 52
Number 2
Year 2015
Page from 141
Page to 147
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269318276_Optimal_membership_size_and_the_governance_of_grassroots_associations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2014.11.002
Open Access N


Willems, Jurgen (Details)
Bidee, Jemima (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Huybrechts, Gert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Jegers, Marc (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Pepermans, Roland (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Van Puyvelde, Stijn (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Vantilborgh, Tim (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5308 Management sciences (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
6906 Public research (Details)
6909 Cultural economics (Details)
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