Journal of Public Administration

TitleAn Action Research of Commercialization and Social Loafing in the Non-profit Organization
作者José Chiu-C. Chen, Chen-Yang Cheng

José Chiu-C. Chen, Associate professor, Department of Public Management and Policy, Tunghai University.

Chen-Yang Cheng, Associate professor of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, National Taipei University of Technology. email: cycheng@ntut.edu.tw.


Faced with the trend of the commercialization of non-profit organizations, most studies repeatedly remind us of possible impacts through ethical warnings. But the movement of commercialization into the NPO sector shows no signs of stopping. Instead, the challenges of commercialization are becoming more diverse. This study argues that remaining ignorant of the necessity of practical puzzle-solving might undermine the existing contribution of NPO research.

For the purpose of sharing our observations and implementing commitments for voluntary counseling service, “α assistive technology resource center” (α-ATRC) was taken as our action research case. During the period of our counseling service, the phenomenon of social loafing became continuously worse. Meanwhile, the daily operations toward commercialization at “α-ATRC” are limited by NPOs’ characteristics, social loafing, etc. Hence, the efficacy of commercialization in our research case is not satisfying; also the capacity in response to market competition is not sufficient.

Therefore, in-depth interviews and time-and-motion research were conducted during our counseling service. A lean thinking approach and its practices of “lean kanban system, SOP, value stream mapping” (VSM) were applied for the purpose of solving social loafing problems at “α-ATRC.” Base on collected data, useful suggestions were proposed, and the challenges of NPO commercialization were released. More reflections and discussions for the issue of NPO commercialization are provided in the conclusion.

Keywords:        non-profit organization, social loafing, lean thinking, the assistive technology resource center (ATRC), foundation

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