The Not-for-profit (NfP) sector (sometimes referred to as nonprofit sector, third sector, or social sector) encompasses a broad range of organizations that are neither commercial nor governmental. They pursue a range of public benefit purposes through service delivery, grantmaking and other activities, aimed at addressing societal issues and advancing important/ critical aspects such as health, education and social welfare. Information Systems is omnipresent, with almost every institution rapidly adopting technology in one form or other for efficiency gains, innovations and effectiveness in terms of their public benefit purpose. The NfP sector is no different and has for decades pursued technology advancements to improve their service provisioning. However resources (especially funds and capabilities) are often scarce in the NfP sector, particularly to access and successfully deploy IT . This research project is based on the premise that more can be done in this space, and the literature review is designed as a current ‘stock-take’ of existing practices and knowledge.
We are particularly interested to develop a deeper understanding on the current status of technology enabled service provisioning practices attempted within the NfP sector. The scope is focused towards the outreach and servicing of beneficiaries (rather than the internal organisational management) of NfP organizations.
This projects sits within QUT’s Centre for Future Enterprise’s (CFE) ‘Enfranchising Enterprises’ program, where you will be embedded in a team of world-class multi-disciplinary researchers dedicated to ‘making a difference’ in modern society via the practices of enterprises. Students will be warmly welcomed to a well established research team, and will be highly supported and closely mentored. Upon completion, students who perform well in their VRES projects will be able to apply for PhD and Masters scholarship opportunities, as applicable to the circumstances of individual students.
Guided by the methodological and domain expertise of your supervisory team, you will conduct a structured literature review to identify how NfP enterprises use technology to improve and enhance their outreach and service delivery to diverse communities. You will systematically collect and curate published peer-reviewed papers and case examples, and use qualitative data analysis approaches to synthesize key themes and findings. Study findings will be written up first as a report to be shared with CFE audience. If the quality of the work is of high standard, there is an option to co-author and publish a paper that can be presented to a global audience through conference presentations, webinars and other media.
The aim of this project is to shed light into to the current uptake of technology enabled service provisioning in the NfP sector.
The study will result in a descriptive overview of current practices and also derive empirically supported (using literature as secondary evidence) theoretical frameworks that outlines (i) different forms and models of IT deployment in the NfP sector, (ii) critical success factors and (iii) barriers and costs.
The structured literature review will form a solid basis for identifying successes and challenges of deploying IT in this sector and assist the further progression of technology-enabled service provisioning in the sector.
Skills and experience
We are looking for students who have the following attributes:
- Excellent written communication skills
- sound information retrieval skills
- a good team player who enjoys collaborating and being part of a wider group
- able to work independently and complete tasks that produce high quality outcomes
- interested in experiencing research and developing research skills
- a strong sense of curiousity about and a passion for exploring and understanding the role of IT for social good and public benefit.
You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.
- Not for Profit (NfP) Sector
- Third Sector
- Technology adoption
- Effective use of technology
- Critical success factors
- Literature review
- Public benefit purposes
- Social good
If interested to apply, please email Dr. Wasana Bandara, co-leader of the Enfranchising Enterprises program at CFE, with a short (2-page) CV and a brief (~250 word) summary on why you are interested in this project.