RESEARCH Projects & papers
My research is interdisciplinary and theoretically-grounded.
The research that I do has always drawn from multiple disciplines, an approach I've found to be analytically, conceptually, and theoretically useful. Focusing on NGOs, LGBT health and sexualities, and social policy, my work draws upon and contributes to organisational, management, development management, third sector, and social policy literatures. Highlighting the intersection of the political and the economic (a political economy approach), I use case studies in my analysis to understand larger puzzles. My research is clustered around some key questions:
How do organisations adapt to political and economic dynamics following a jolt to the environment (e.g. when the organisation has achieved success)?
How do political, economic, and sociocultural configurations of state-society relations affect the behaviour, adaptability, and survival trajectory of NGOs?
What are the unintended effects of social policy? On organisational behaviour and persistence, and on LGBT health and sexualities?
For a complete and frequently-updated list of my research, have a look at my CV.
ON THE FRONT BURNER
PhD Thesis - Surviving success: A political economy of NGO adaptation and transformation
This project continues with research interests I developed during my masters degree in studying 1) how LGBT organisations adapt to political and economic opportunities and constraints in the organisational field (i.e. the space encompassing organisations, institutions, and individual actors); and 2) using the analysis of LGBT organisations as a case of organisational adaptation and survival vis-a-vis configurations of state-society-market relations. This isn't to suggest that LGBT organisations are necessarily representative cases. Rather, because these NGOs are organised around identity and LGBT issues are complex and still contentious, both in society and in social policy, examining LGBT organisations provides an opportunity potentially to study an 'extreme' case of organisational adaptation and persistence. This makes LGBT organisations an interesting and timely subject of exploration to understand the larger puzzle around organisational success and survival that is at the centre of my doctoral thesis:
First, what happens when organisations get what they want? How do organisations survive when ‘success’ has been achieved? What are the political, economic, and contextual factors that affect organisational survival?
And second, from an organisational perspective, what might be the unintended effects of progressive social policy? What might be the broader implications of these unintended organisational effects?
To understand my research puzzle, I chose the Canadian context as my country case for a few reasons: 1) as the fourth country in the world to have legalised same-sex marriage, Canada offers a longer period of time during which LGBT organisations could have experienced adaptation to survival pressures stemming from ‘success’ (same-sex marriage); 2) Canada's federal system and massive geographic size offers a number of sub-state regions (provinces) which differ contextually, politically, and economically— essentially providing an opportunity to examine instances of organisational adaptation to the same post-same-sex marriage environment but under different regional conditions. Thus, expecting difference on contextual, political, and economic dimensions (and how these might affect organisational survival and adaptation) I chose Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal to conduct around 80 semi-structured interviews with leaders and high-level members of LGBT NGOs (advocacy organisations, service providers, cultural organisations, professional associations) and some key funders (corporate donors, LGBT foundations).
Using the LGBT Canadian NGO case, this doctoral project aims to add to our understanding within management, organisational theory, and development management literatures of how success and organisational survival are intertwined (and perhaps in unexpected ways). In the context of rising public service provision (policy implementation) by NGOs, it aims to interrogate the implications of NGO success for long-term policy provision. And a decade after its legalisation, this project looks to illuminate the unintended effects of same-sex marriage legislation.
The organisational persistence of HIV NGOs
This working paper looks at the peculiar case of Toronto's sprawling HIV/AIDS service sector and the role of social policy in enabling the long-term persistence of much smaller HIV/AIDS service organisations. Here, I draw parallels with the long-term persistence of NGOs initially established to address 'short-term' problems in health crisis contexts. Unexpectedly, I uncovered a fascinating case study in organisational persistence:
“Understanding the persistence of ‘short-term’ health crisis NGOs: The case of Toronto’s minority ethnospecific HIV/AIDS service organisations”. This paper received the 2019 Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research from the Social Policy Association.
Hildebrandt, T., Bode, L., & Ng, J. S. C. (Forthcoming). The effect of ‘lifestyle stigma’ on public support for NHS-provisioned pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and preventative interventions for HPV and type 2 diabetes: A nationwide UK survey. BMJ Open.
Hildebrandt, T., Bode, L., & Ng, J. S. C. (Under review). Responsibilization and sexual stigma under austerity: Surveying public support for government-funded PrEP in England.
“Surviving success: A political economy of NGO adaptation and transformation”- presented at the Social Policy Doctoral Seminar, LSE
“Improvisation within a scene of resource constraint: Resource mobilization, corporate ‘creep,’ and LGBTQ organizations in post-same-sex marriage Canada” - hosted by the Canadian Studies Program & the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto (January 10)
“Success and Survival: Research on the Canadian LGBT+ Nonprofit Sector” - presented at the LGBT+ Philanthropy Summit of the LGBT+ Giving Network (Toronto, April 11-12)
“Donor creep,’ LGBT politics, and civil society in post-mobilization subnational contexts: An organizational perspective” - to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) (Washington, DC, August 29-September 1)
"Resource dependence, accountability, and legitimacy after ‘success’: A political economy of the organisation” - presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) (Chicago, IL, April 3-7)
"NGO survival and the case of post-crisis ethnospecific HIV/AIDS service providers: Some organizational evolutionary insights” - presented at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) annual conference (Austin, TX, November 15-17)
"Understanding the persistence of HIV/AIDS service organisations: The case of Toronto's minority ethnospecific HIV sector" - presented at the conference of the Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV (ASSHH) (Amsterdam, NL, July 20-23)
"Examining the effect of 'lifestyle stigma' on public attitudes toward PrEP and other healthcare expenditures in Britain: HIV, HPV, and Type 2 Diabetes" - presented by Dr. Tim Hildebrandt at the conference of the Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV (ASSHH) (Amsterdam, NL, July 20-23)
"Understanding the persistence of 'short-term' health crisis NGOs: The case of Toronto's minority ethnospecific HIV/AIDS organisations" - presented at the Social Policy Association (SPA) annual conference (York, UK, July 11-13).
Awarded the 2019 SPA Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research