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PhD Dissertation Defense, Anicet Fangwa, Strategy and Business Policy

Congratulations to Dr Anicet Fangwa, Strategy and Business Policy, who successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at HEC Paris on December 6, 2022. Anicet has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at McGill University (Canada) from July 2023.

Specialization: Strategy and Business Policy

Topic: Three essays on social value creation through non-profits and hybrid organizations governance to address grand challenges

Supervisor: Bertrand Quélin, Professor, HEC Paris 

Jury Members:

  • Jean-Philippe Bonardi Professor, HEC Lausanne 
  • Rodolphe Durand Professor, HEC Paris 
  • Jiao Luo Professor, University of Minnesota 
  • Bertrand Quelin Professor, HEC Paris, Supervisor 

Abstract :

The main objective of this dissertation is to investigate how organizational governance affect the performance of nonprofit and hybrid organizations tackling Grand Challenges. I explore how nonprofit organizations and cross-sector collaborations can take advantage of innovative governance systems to be more effective at social value creation. The first essay examines the effectiveness of a bundle of governance mechanisms consisting of social performance-based incentives combined with auditing and feedback in a randomized governance program conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s healthcare sector. I found that within ten quarters following the treatment, nonprofit health centers experienced significant improvements in operating efficiency and social performance. Additionally, analysis reveals that funding is not a substitute for governance. Indeed, health centers that only receive lump sum funding increase their scale but do not improve operating efficiency nor social performance. In contrast, health centers receiving funding and governance treatment enhance their scale, operating efficiency, and social performance. The second essay investigates how board composition affect nonprofit organizational effectiveness. I investigate the underserved context of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is ranked among the most gender unequal areas in the world. I find that female leadership and gender diversity have a positive and significant correlation with organizational effectiveness, proving that governing bodies are major determinants of organizational performance. Even more, we highlighted the mediating role of board meeting frequency in the gender diversity-effectiveness link, exhibiting a mechanism through which governing bodies influence organizational performance. The third essay theorizes on the governance trade-off dual-purpose public-private collaborations face as they create and distribute value. It sheds light on the role of partners’ capabilities, stakeholder orientation, and social purpose centrality as key determinants of the most suitable partnering mode. Overall, the findings of my three essays show that governance plays a critical role in fostering social value creation, tackling Grand Challenges, and can contribute to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords: Governance, Nonprofit Organizations, Hybridity, Social Value Creation, Cross-sector collaboration, Sustainability