What Tears Them Apart?
Dissolution in Instrumental and Expressive Voluntary Associations

D4 Published development or research report or study

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Dan Sundblom
Editors: Robin Wehrlin
Publisher: International Society for Third Sector Research
Publication year: 2016
Book title: Working Papers Series Volume X
Title of series: Conference Working Papers Series
Volume number: 10
Start page: 1
ISBN: 14


This paper elaborates the instrumental-expressive typology to explore how endogenous and exogenous factors are linked to the dissolution of voluntary associations. Starting from a separation between associations’ emphasis on societal influence and/or service delivery, or socializing in their activity, three categories along the instrumental-expressive dimension are tested against key-explanations in the study of nonprofit and voluntary organization death, such as liability of newness and smallness. The original sample, gathered in the late 1990s, includes 3377 registered voluntary associations, of which 517 have ended their activities to this day. The results suggest that there are significant differences along the instrumental-expressive dimension with regard to organizational dissolution and survival. An important finding is that organizational age and membership size do not correlate with the dissolution of purely instrumental associations, that is, associations that emphasize advocacy and service delivery, while they are good predictors of dissolution among the expressive associations.


dissolution, voluntary associations


Last updated on 2020-29-05 at 06:58