New Perspectives on the Relationship between Public Funding and Advocacy: The influence of the level of governments' autonomy and nonlinear impact on advocacy

Author Name SAKAMOTO Haruya (Kansai University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2016 16-J-036
Research Project Research on the Liberalist Reforms of the Public-Private Relationship and the Establishment of the Third Sector in Japan
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This paper examines the relationship between public funding and advocacy by civil society organizations. Previous studies discussed the consequences of dependence on public funding and its impact on advocacy. Based on the resource dependence theory, some studies argue that public funding has a negative impact on advocacy. However, others reveal its positive impact drawing on the partnership theory. There is no strong empirical finding which supports either theory. Therefore, the debate has not yet been settled.

This study provides two new perspectives on the argument. First, the level of governments' autonomy decides the consequence because it determines the reaction of governments on advocacy. If the level is high, governments can take sanctions against advocacy, so the resource dependence theory is valid. If the level is low, governments cannot take sanctions and are willing to compromise with civil society organizations, therefore the partnership theory is valid. Second, public funding has a nonlinear impact on advocacy. Previous research focused on only the linear impact and whether it was a positive or negative impact. But this research insists that the effect of public funding is nonlinear and fits the "inversed U shape" model, since the resource dependence theory is invalid when the level of dependence on public funding is low. Findings from the multivariate analyses of the Japanese Third Sector Survey 2014 conducted by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) support these two perspectives.

Published: Sakamoto, Haruya, 2017. "Determinants of demand for technology in relationships with complementary assets among Japanese firms," The Nonprofit Review, Vol. 17(1), pp. 23-37