Margaret Harris
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Research & Teaching



My research interests focus on the organisation, management and effectiveness of voluntary and community organisations (also known as ‘VCOs’, ‘third sector organisations’, ‘nonprofits’ or ‘NGOs’). Topics of particular interest to me include:

  • trustee boards, committees and governance structures
  •  the impact of public policy on the management of VCOs;
  • organisational change in the VCO sector;
  • the organisation of religious and faith based groups and congregations;
  • management of volunteers;
  • bridge-building between religious and ethnic groups;
  • collaborations and partnerships  within the voluntary sector and across the voluntary/governmental sector boundaries;
  • social responsibility activities linking businesses and VCOs;
  • organisation of local community associations;
  • Olympics volunteering; and
  • local government involvement in volunteer management. 


My teaching in recent years has mostly been at postgraduate and post-experience levels.  Courses and topics covered have included: voluntary sector organisation; working across sectoral boundaries; organisational change management; social research methods; social policy; and corporate social responsibility; as well as supervision of doctoral students.
I am a member of the Higher Education Academy.

Doctoral Examinations

I have been external examiner for doctoral theses at: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; University of Sydney, Australia; Warwick University, England; London School of Economics, England; Stirling University, Scotland; Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; Birmingham University, England; Rhodes University, South Africa; Sheffield Hallam University, England; Liverpool University, England; University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

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