Examining the perceived internal and external effectiveness of NGOs in the Palestinian Territories : the role of complexity, resilience, and job adaptability

Naira Musallam

Examining the perceived internal and external effectiveness of NGOs in the Palestinian Territories : the role of complexity, resilience, and job adaptability
Musallam, Naira
Thesis Advisor(s):
Coleman, Peter T.
Social-Organizational Psychology
Permanent URL:
Ph.D., Columbia University.
The current study examined some key factors that have the potential to impact non governmental organizations' (NGOs) effectiveness operating in war and conflict settings. Previous research suggested that integrative complexity (Streufert, 1970; Suedfeld, Tetlock, & Streufert, 1992), behavioral complexity (Lawrence, Lenk, & Quinn, 2009), emotional complexity (Kang & Shaver, 2004), job adaptability (Pulakos, Arad, & Plamondon, 2000) and resilience (Masten, 2001) are linked to positive individual outcomes. However, no systematic studies have been conducted to examine the potential impact of these variables on perceived work effectiveness in the context of volatile and violent environments. Therefore, I investigated the relationship between individual integrative complexity, perceived behavioral and emotional complexities of Top Management Teams (TMTs), perceived job adaptability of TMTs, perceived resilience of TMTs and their relationship to perceived internal and external effectiveness of their respective NGOs working in the Palestinian Territories. A total of 133 participants participated in the study, representing TMTs from 26 local NGOs based in Ramallah, West Bank working in various fields such as community development, children and youth, human rights, women empowerment, agriculture, health and psychological counseling, advocacy, education, and culture. Participants were asked to fill out a battery of questionnaires assessing these variables. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were utilized to analyze the data. The overall results indicated that integrative complexity was negatively associated with leader's perceptions of the external effectiveness of their NGO, and was not found to be related to perceived internal effectiveness. Both perceived behavioral complexity and emotional complexity of TMTs' were positively associated with perceptions of internal and external effectiveness. An exploratory analysis revealed an interaction effect between behavioral and emotional complexity in terms of their combined impact on perceived internal and external effectiveness. In addition, perceived job adaptability of TMTs was significantly related to perceived external effectiveness, but not with perceived internal effectiveness. Finally, perceived resilience of TMTs was not found to be associated with any outcome variables. The theoretical, practical and future research implications of the results are discussed.
Social psychology
Peace studies
Social research
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