NGOs and the globalization of managerialism: A research framework

Susan M. Roberts, John Paul Jones, Oliver Fröling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


One of the more overlooked aspects of globalization is the circulation of modern managerial practices and knowledges through transnational networks of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In this paper, we offer an analytical framework for understanding the complex circulation of managerialism through dispersed networks of NGOs, connecting the spatially extensive international NGO (INGO) sector to the projects undertaken by grassroots NGOs. This framework first involves a conceptualization of all flows that might potentially be activated through a hypothetical network comprising all potential nodes. We then offer a discussion of a range of managerialist practices and knowledges. A table summarizing and operationalizing the analytical framework interlinks aspects of managerialism with the cultures, structures, and projects of NGOs. Examples chosen from our ongoing work in the NGO sector in Oaxaca, Mexico, serve as illustrations of how the analytical framework might generate insight into the contradictory workings of managerialism in NGO networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1845-1864
Number of pages20
JournalWorld Development
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Globalization
  • Managerialism
  • NGOs
  • Networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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