Motivating and maintaining people in nonprofit organizations: A comparative case study of managerial challenges and opportunities in Sweden and Brazil

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: This is a comparative case study of Sweden and Brazil regarding managerial challenges and opportunities in the nonprofit sector of both countries. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether managers of nonprofit organizations in Sweden and Brazil rely on intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to reach the organization's objectives. Additionally, it explores the main challenges and opportunities managers of nonprofit organizations in Sweden and Brazil face in terms of motivating and maintaining their employees and volunteers. The study follows a qualitative method approach by conducting semi-structured interviews with 11 managers of nonprofit organizations. By doing so, the research focuses on the perspective of the managers on the topic. The empirical findings were analyzed together with relevant theoretical research, the Self-determination Theory, and Cognitive Evaluation Theory. The results of this study indicate that NPOs of both countries face similar challenges and opportunities despite the difference in the development of their respective sectors. In terms of challenges and opportunities, finance was identified as a challenge in the nonprofit sector which reflects other challenges, such as ability to to fulfill the organization’s missions, and employee maintenance and motivation. Finding compatible employees and volunteers was identified as an opportunity, whereas maintaining employees and volunteers represented both challenges and opportunities. Motivation was found present in nonprofit organizations of both Sweden and Brazil and intrinsic motivation, specifically, was mentioned as existent among employees and volunteers of nonprofit organizations by all interviewed managers.

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