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Professor Siv Vangen, Founding Director of CVSL, discusses why the Centre is important for those working in the Voluntary Sector.

The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) is an Academic Centre of Excellence in the OU Business School, initially established with a generous philanthropic gift from Anthony Nutt

Over the last decade, the voluntary sector has been increasingly challenged by austerity measures and the shifting expectations of what support the voluntary sector can, could and should provide. Smaller organisations, which form the majority of the sector, have been particularly impacted by this increasingly unstable environment. Leaders and senior managers of organisations, whether paid or unpaid, are required to operate in a highly competitive, increasingly commercialised context.

The Centre, which builds on and is informed by the research of Professor Siv Vangen (featured above) and Dr Owain Smolovic Jones, also draws on research expertise and capability in the voluntary sector and public leadership to:

  • Establish The Open University Business School as a trusted source of expertise in leadership development thinking for the voluntary sector in the UK
  • Lead on new areas of research where there are significant leadership knowledge and solutions-based gaps
  • Provide free and flexible leadership development opportunities that meet the priority needs of the sector
  • Ensure that all best practice and new thinking is disseminated as effectively as possible

The Centre works collaboratively with stakeholder groups across academic, practitioner and policy communities with the view to advance understanding of the complexity of the problems organisations are facing, the ambiguities pertaining to stakeholders’ responsibilities and accountabilities, and the dynamics caused by ever-changing public policies on matters that affect the work of voluntary organisations.

Read the latest Annual Report from the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership

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