From market to state networking: The Case of a Norwegian Voluntary Organization
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate and explain how a Norwegian voluntary, faith-based organization, the Gospel Centre of Norway (Pinsevennenes Evangeliesenter), successfully substituted a “network” for “market” strategy vis-à-vis the public sector in order to obtain organizational legitimacy and financial security. During the first decade of its existence it obtained a unique position in its relationship with the state, as a separate item in the budget of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The organization operates in the field of substance abuse rehabilitation, i.e., in a situation where instrumental effectiveness is difficult to assess. In such a situation ritual or other institutional criteria may replace effectiveness criteria and impression management is shown to be a successful strategy. Attention is paid to the relevant environmental conditions under which this organizational change of strategy was successful.