Analysis of Vulnerability Factors of NGOs: An Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) Approach


Tehmina Fiaz Qazi
Abdul Aziz Khan Niazi
Sharoona Sheikh
Ifra Aziz Khan Niazi
Abdul Basit


Non-governmental organizations work for the welfare of society as well as contribute to the economic development of a country. As non-governmental organizations face serious performance declines since last decade around the world, not only in specific geographic area, there is a dire need for exploring the cause of such decline in order to fight the issue in time. In lieu of this, this study is an effort to reach to the susceptibility factors that are the reasons for declining performance of non-governmental organizations in the context of Pakistan. Seven susceptible factors have been identified from literature and expert’s opinion which were further categorized into twenty-two sub-factors in order to deal with the issue of declining performance of non-governmental organizations in greater detail. The twelve members’ panel of experts is recruited to collect data. The qualitative data required for this study is collected through a comprehensive review of the literature and from tacit knowledge of experts having at least 10 years’ experience and belonging directly/indirectly to different NGOs, Government departments, universities professors and other stakeholders who are the beneficiaries of NGOs. This is an exploratory study based on survey. The Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) is used to recognize and categorize susceptible performance factors and create a structural/hierarchal model to understand interrelationships among these susceptibility factors. The factors of teamwork, funding, donations, rules & regulations and recruitment fall at level I. Recruitment and rules & regulations on level I of ISM model signifies the importance of dimension of HR Practices. On level II, the presence of organizational structure and budget indicate the importance of proper structure and funding for NGOs’ sustainability. On level III, the factor of proactive approach is present. Level IV represents factors of executive body, employee engagement, workload and turnover rate. Level V represents factors of politics, responsibility, employee motivation and teamwork whereas level VI represents factors of appreciation rewards. Level VII represents employee honesty and level VIII represents employee behavior respectively. Level IX represents training & development whereas level X represents advance & latest technology and technology experts. Cross Impact Matrix Multiplication Applied to Classification (MICMAC) is used to classify variables along two dimensions; their driving power and dependence power. MICMAC enhances the reliability and validity of the ISM model. It groups variables as autonomous, independent, dependent and linkage variables. MICMAC presented Employee Engagement (C16) as a dependent and Executive Body (C8) as an independent variables. The rest of the variables appeared as autonomous variables. This study intends to contribute towards theoretical as well as practical implication for a broad range of stakeholders including, the administrators of NGOs, the Government, the beneficiaries, and the society.


How to Cite
Qazi, T.F. , Niazi, A.A.K. , Sheikh, S. , Niazi, I.A.K. and Basit, A. 2022. Analysis of Vulnerability Factors of NGOs: An Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) Approach. Journal of Policy Research. 8, 4 (Dec. 2022), 483–497. DOI:

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