What happens next? Following third sector organisations  in an age of austerity Dr. Rob Macmillan Third Sector Research Ce...
In summary <ul><li>Two moments in civil society… </li></ul><ul><li>About the ‘Real Times’ study </li></ul><ul><li>What hap...
Two moments in civil society… <ul><li>‘ Larch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based ...
The research basis for ‘Real Times’ <ul><li>The third sector in transition –  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ shaking-out’ and...
The third sector in transition <ul><li>‘ Shaking-out’  (and hollowing-out?)   </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Shaking-up’  (enterprise...
A crowded ‘field’... <ul><li>‘ Room’  is the ‘space’ for an organisation to operate in a given field,  involving:  </li></...
‘ Real Times’ in a nutshell… <ul><li>Overall aim </li></ul><ul><li>To establish, maintain and analyse a qualitative longit...
Four focal points Fortunes - What influences the fortunes of TSOs? - How do they judge their fortunes? Strategies - How do...
A diverse set of case studies <ul><li>A large national charity  delivering services – anticipating a changing funding and ...
Two moments in civil society… <ul><li>‘ Larch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based ...
A Question of Sport: what happened next? <ul><li>Discuss in small groups what you think happened next </li></ul><ul><li>Ch...
What happens next? <ul><li>‘ Larch’ (then) </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based rege...
What happens next? <ul><li>‘ Birch’ (then) </li></ul><ul><li>Secure local advice agency growing through local authority fu...
The overall story so far <ul><li>A picture dominated by cuts for some… </li></ul><ul><li>From anticipatory anxiety (Spring...
Analytical approaches <ul><li>Narrative profiles and ‘process tracing’ </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-cutting themes and ‘storyli...
Internal dynamics “hold on a moment…..who’s ‘we’?” <ul><li>“ we’re talking about the closure of all  [offices] ,   that’s ...
Reflections on a dynamic civil society <ul><li>‘ Shaking up’ and ‘shaking out’ </li></ul><ul><li>What influences the ‘room...
Further information <ul><li>‘ Real Times’ is being undertaken by a team of five researchers at TSRC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
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Tsrc real times rob macmillan - london seminar 16.11.11

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Tsrc real times rob macmillan - london seminar 16.11.11

  1. 1. What happens next? Following third sector organisations in an age of austerity Dr. Rob Macmillan Third Sector Research Centre University of Birmingham TSRC London seminar NCVO 16 th November 2011
  2. 2. In summary <ul><li>Two moments in civil society… </li></ul><ul><li>About the ‘Real Times’ study </li></ul><ul><li>What happens next? </li></ul><ul><li>The overall story so far </li></ul><ul><li>Reflections on a dynamic civil society </li></ul>
  3. 3. Two moments in civil society… <ul><li>‘ Larch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Centre, Youth Club, Village Hall, successful community shop/café, new social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>An uneven landscape of participation, e.g. ‘Brown hair turning grey’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Birch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Secure local advice agency growing through local authority funding and additional contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Annual surplus to ‘weather the storm’ and for service development </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipating possible outsourcing opportunities </li></ul>
  4. 4. The research basis for ‘Real Times’ <ul><li>The third sector in transition – </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ shaking-out’ and ‘shaking-up’? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A ‘field’ based understanding of the third sector – </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>context, relation and the idea of ‘room’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Taking time seriously – </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rhythms and change in third sector life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Snapshots and moving pictures – </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the promise of seeing things differently </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The third sector in transition <ul><li>‘ Shaking-out’ (and hollowing-out?) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Shaking-up’ (enterprise, demonstrating value and ‘reconfiguration’) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Room’ – enough for everyone? </li></ul>Within the third sector Around the third sector - division and polarisation… - competition and collaboration… - independence and the state... - modernisation... - rethinking finance… - value and distinctiveness… - changing economic circumstances - changing political context
  6. 6. A crowded ‘field’... <ul><li>‘ Room’ is the ‘space’ for an organisation to operate in a given field, involving: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an acknowledged role and position, b ased on a context-specific, ongoing, sometimes awkward and contested accommodation between similarly placed organisations operating in a given catchment area, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a capacity to continue its activities to pursue its aims </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organisations might pursue ‘room’, but to create or preserve it, they need to attend to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>r esources ( economic and human capital ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationships ( social capital ), and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regard ( symbolic capital ) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. ‘ Real Times’ in a nutshell… <ul><li>Overall aim </li></ul><ul><li>To establish, maintain and analyse a qualitative longitudinal sample of third sector organisations, groups and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Access and engagement - experiences and dilemmas </li></ul><ul><li>Research structure and timing </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse set of 15 core case studies plus a range of related ‘complementary’ case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Apr ’10 to Aug ’13 – now about half way through </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose and research questions </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how third sector activity operates in practice over time </li></ul><ul><li>What happens, what matters, and understanding continuity and change </li></ul>
  8. 8. Four focal points Fortunes - What influences the fortunes of TSOs? - How do they judge their fortunes? Strategies - How do TSOs regard and negotiate the environments in which they operate? Challenges - What challenges do TSOs face? - How do they respond? Performance - How is the ‘performance’ of TSOs understood by different stakeholders? - How can we understand their achievements?
  9. 9. A diverse set of case studies <ul><li>A large national charity delivering services – anticipating a changing funding and policy environment, and preparing a cutback plan </li></ul><ul><li>A specialist mental health charity – concerned to maintain its distinctive services amidst public spending cuts, the personalisation agenda and new models of intervention </li></ul><ul><li>A new social enterprise – pursuing growth beyond its local community </li></ul><ul><li>A co-operative sports club - trying to sustain initial enthusiasm and impetus </li></ul><ul><li>A local support project for teenage mothers – surviving an internal crisis, preparing for longer term sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>A parish plan action group – seeking to implement ‘quick wins’ in the village </li></ul>
  10. 10. Two moments in civil society… <ul><li>‘ Larch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Centre, Youth Club, Village Hall, successful community shop/café, new social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>An uneven landscape of participation, e.g. ‘Brown hair turning grey’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Birch’ </li></ul><ul><li>Secure local advice agency growing through local authority funding and additional contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Annual surplus to ‘weather the storm’ and for service development </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipating possible outsourcing opportunities </li></ul>
  11. 11. A Question of Sport: what happened next? <ul><li>Discuss in small groups what you think happened next </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your feedback persona – Bill Beaumont, Willie Carson, Phil Tufnell, Matt Dawson… </li></ul><ul><li>Then feedback, I’ll be Sue Barker and we’ll see... </li></ul>
  12. 12. What happens next? <ul><li>‘ Larch’ (then) </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived ex-mining village – housing and community-based regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Centre, Youth Club, Village Hall, successful community shop/café, new social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>An uneven landscape of participation, e.g. ‘Brown hair turning grey’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Larch’ (now-ish) </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuccessful funding bids – youth club closes </li></ul><ul><li>Utility bills and winter damage - Heritage Centre closing down </li></ul><ul><li>Contracting infrastructure support </li></ul><ul><li>Shop/café and new social enterprise still developing </li></ul>
  13. 13. What happens next? <ul><li>‘ Birch’ (then) </li></ul><ul><li>Secure local advice agency growing through local authority funding and additional contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Annual surplus to ‘weather the storm’ and for service development </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipating possible outsourcing opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Birch’ (now-ish) </li></ul><ul><li>LA reviews provision and cuts basic funding, pending re-commissioning </li></ul><ul><li>Birch forced to consider closing services in hiatus </li></ul><ul><li>A debate on tactical responses </li></ul><ul><li>Reprieve, redundancies and re-organising structures and services </li></ul>
  14. 14. The overall story so far <ul><li>A picture dominated by cuts for some… </li></ul><ul><li>From anticipatory anxiety (Spring 2010) to the experience of public spending cuts (Spring-Summer 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Restructuring and redundancies </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigning, influence and reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing uncertainty about the scale and scope of cuts, and emerging policy agendas </li></ul><ul><li>But not for all… </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations planning growth </li></ul><ul><li>Re-positioning and the development of new ventures and services </li></ul><ul><li>Relative insulation from the changing context </li></ul>
  15. 15. Analytical approaches <ul><li>Narrative profiles and ‘process tracing’ </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-cutting themes and ‘storylines’ </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Who’s in charge?’ – governance and leadership </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Central and local relationships’ – support, control and independence </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Us’ and ‘them’ – boundaries, identities and ethos in the third sector </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring and explaining the origin and development of social ventures </li></ul><ul><li>The value and cost of space </li></ul>
  16. 16. Internal dynamics “hold on a moment…..who’s ‘we’?” <ul><li>“ we’re talking about the closure of all [offices] , that’s what we’re talking about, so I don’t see any point in having discussions where there is nothing on the table…I’m seen as being a bit of a maverick and a bit of a street fighter…. because they’re all bloody lily livered wussies, honest to God, they wouldn’t say boo to a goose. It does irritate the life out of me. They’re frightened of their own shadow. </li></ul><ul><li>I come from a campaigning background really, you know, that you stand up for what is right and obviously [the national organisation] comes from, you know, ‘oh can’t we have a cup a tea and just all be happy together’, you know, sort of thing, so we are at odds – I am seen as being a gob-shite because I speak my mind”. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Reflections on a dynamic civil society <ul><li>‘ Shaking up’ and ‘shaking out’ </li></ul><ul><li>What influences the ‘room’ for civil society? </li></ul><ul><li>Civil society in motion - what happens next and why? </li></ul><ul><li>“ You beat your wings all your life, but in </li></ul><ul><li>the end the wind decides where you go” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Further information <ul><li>‘ Real Times’ is being undertaken by a team of five researchers at TSRC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rob Macmillan, Andri Soteri-Proctor, Simon Teasdale, Rebecca Taylor and Malin Arvidson </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Macmillan, R (2011) Seeing things differently? The promise of qualitative longitudinal research on the third sector </li></ul><ul><li>TSRC Working Paper 56, March 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Forthcoming: First Impressions: i ntroducing the ‘Real Times’ third sector case studies </li></ul>

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