Managing without Profit: The Art of Managing Third-sector Organisations (Penguin business)

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9780140269536: Managing without Profit: The Art of Managing Third-sector Organisations (Penguin business)

This work looks at managing in what is now becoming known as the third sector (that is, non-profit making organizations which are not yet run by the government). Examples would be charities, the Royal Opera, the AA and the Hedgehog Preservation Society. This is an area which has grown rapidly and which, though it represents less than five percent of gross domestic product, is one which wealds a great deal of power and influence.

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Review:

Once upon a time, until the mid-nineties anyway, management techniques were developed mainly in business schools, applied in business and then would slowly grind their way over to the "third sector". It would take a minimum of 10 years. Now, argues Mike Hudson, author of Managing Without Profit, it takes only five years. What's more, some management ideas--such as the importance of vision and a sense of mission, are beginning to migrate in the opposite direction, from the "without" to the "with profit sector". Hence, almost exactly five years after first publishing his definitive text on management in the voluntary sector, Hudson is back with a new and heavily revised edition.

The main changes include three new chapters on managing change, managing strategic performance and on creating a learning organisation. There are also sections on bench marking, the importance of building a strong senior management team. Material in the first edition on vision and mission have now been consolidated into chapters of their own.

Hudson, founder and senior partner of Compass Partnership, a management consultancy which works with, not for, profit organisations, clearly knows his stuff. He approaches each topic with precision and economy of expression. So he details the roles of the four different types of deputy director, he spells out four characteristics of organisational culture and so on. He is also wise in that while he tells you how to do it in theory, he repeatedly acknowledges that the world is not perfect and that it is quite acceptable to tolerate mistakes in others and even to make them yourself--as long as you learn from them. "Virtually everyone who contributes time and effort to these organisations has well founded altruistic and philanthropic motives. However people often have other--and self serving motives...which have a significant impact on management".

Every chapter is augmented with diagrams, examples, cross heads and summaries, making the book as clear an exposition of the arts of management as you are likely to find anywhere. Although obviously written with the third sector in mind, it will contain useful insights for anyone concerned with learning the rudiments of management, no matter what sector they are in. --Alex Benady

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Hudson, Mike
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