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Profiling the capacities of effective managers in Macao non-profit sector

English Abstract

In Macao, the non-profit sector has played an important role in the society since the founding of this city, for the simple reason that it has provided a voice for its residents and has helped to generate improvements for people’s lives and for the community. Non-profit sector can be referred to a collection of non-profit organizations (NPO) that are non-governmental and it strives to generate public good. Macao is a small city with around 557,400 residents; however, it has nearly 5,000 non-profit organizations in 2011, and this density is hardly to be matched by other countries; that is why Macao is also known as a ‘NPO society’. Although the non-profit sector is an integral part of the community, management effectiveness in this area is still not sufficiently investigated. The distinctive phenomenon and culture of the local nonprofits has prompted this study, which looks at how local managers in this sector manage their work. The focus of this investigation is to profile the capacities of effective managers in Macao non-profit sector; specifically, it aims to investigate in depth the criteria peoples use in evaluating good and successful NPO managers, the things that those managers do; the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they possess in order to perform effectively on work and to become successful. In order to explore the above questions, a qualitative research was conducted. In-depth set interviews were conducted with 15 NPO managers from different non-profit organizations in Macao. Managers ii vii were asked to share their daily working lives, such as their daily job routine; the required knowledge; skills, and attitude for them to perform effectively on their job; the way they obtained those capacities; the capacities that successful managers possess, and also their point of views on the overall non-profit managers in Macao. Another set of interviews with 5 non-profit workers who were not in managerial positions was also carried out. The key purpose was to find out the perception of the fellow workers on good NPO managers. It is found that the local non-profit sector has created a special management culture, whereby each organization is treated like a big family. Managers act as supportive team members and they pay less attention to the managerial hierarchies and their managerial positions; they forge a close and friendly relationship with their colleagues and treat each other as friends or family members. These successful NPO managers tend to also encourage open, direct and upward communications. This working relationship is found to be very important for enhancing effectiveness and efficiency at work in non-profit sector. There are also some key qualities that are common among the effective NPO managers. Being selfless, passionate, truthful, ethical, and to devote whole-heartedly to work are the other important attitudes that are demonstrated by the NPO managers. In order to build up a good working relationship with the fellow workers, good NPO managers were discovered to be tolerant and iii viii broad-minded, and understand the difficulties of their people and are active to provide assistance and guidance to them. They also act as mentors and facilitators to their fellow workers and help them to develop their own capacities; they also value the efforts contributed by their people. It is found that their capacities are cultivated through educational learning, their own work experience, observation, self-reflections, the guidance from others, and ongoing daily practices. It is not always easy to become a good manager; there is also no single dominant capacity or rule to be followed in order to become successful. The capacities of a good manager must be cultivated from different areas and the managers themselves need to integrate all those capacities in order to enhance their performance. Therefore, it is vital for managers to keep observing, keep learning and keep practicing to find the right path to success.

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Wu, Man Teng


Faculty of Business Administration


Department of Management and Marketing




Nonprofit organizations -- Macau

Nonprofit organizations -- Management


Kong, Siew Huat

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