Michael D.White, Christopher Fisher, Karyn Hadfield, Jessica Saunders, and Lisa Williams (2005). “Measuring Organizational Capacity Among Agencies Serving the Poor: Implications for Achieving Organizational Effectiveness.” Justice Policy Journal, 2(2): 1-39.
Organizational capacity has emerged as a critical issue as social service agencies seek to do “more with less.” Prior research, however, has failed both to operationalize capacity and to produce empirical support for its perceived positive relationship with organizational effectiveness. This paper describes an effort to create an organizational capacity-measuring mechanism for agencies serving the poor, homeless and hungry, and using simple bivariate analysis, explores the relationship between capacity and organizational effectiveness. Findings here fail to find a significant overall relationship between capacity and effectiveness, though certain elements of capacity appear to be more important than others. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential explanations and their implications for future research.